YORK Racecourse's Sky Bet Ebor Festival attracted more than 77,000 racegoers - fewer than 4,000 down on the last pre-pandemic Festival of 2019, despite  the disruption caused by the rail strikes.

A course spokesman said the big attendance was tribute to the resourcefulness of racegoers, who had to contend with the train strikes on both Thursday and Saturday. 

"The final day was the biggest crowd, with 28,063 racegoers enjoying the sunshine and York welcome," he said.

"Thursday’s attendance  of 17,591 was the most affected by the rail disruption, being down 3,313 down on 2019."

Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course William Derby said: “The team reflect proudly on a job well done and we are so grateful for the support of the Horsemen for sending us their stars, as well as to racegoers for showing their support. 

"We have been spoilt by the fabulous weather, meaning everyone could enjoy the top-class racing and everything else the Sky Bet Ebor Festival had to offer. 

"At what is a crucial time for our sport, we are delighted that the York Race Committee decision to invest 100 per cent of forecast media rights this year was rewarded by such fantastic racing, large field sizes and a wonderful atmosphere."

The spokesman said the festival came to a close with a popular success for Trawlerman in the hands of Frankie Dettori in the £500,000 Sky Bet Ebor.

"This success meant that The Sporting Memories Foundation were the winning charity in the Sky Bet Ebor Community Sweepstake, receiving a donation of £20,000 towards delivering social and inclusive physical activities that improve the mental and physical wellbeing of older people in Yorkshire," he said.