Defiant Ascot defend ticket limits for Frankel's final run despite fan pressure
17:02 GMT, 23 September 2012
Ascot has defended the decision to cap attendance at 32,000 for Frankel’s final run at Qipco British Champions Day on October 20.
Scores of Frankel fans desperate to witness Sir Henry Cecil’s unbeaten colt sign off in the Champion Stakes, will be left ticketless.
Ascot’s grandstand, with its autumn capacity of 30,500, sold out at the weekend.
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A temporary facility with room for 1,500 more is being built but, the tracks says, erecting extra capacity would not be financially viable.
The 1,500 tickets go on sale on Monday morning at 9am and are expected to be snapped up in hours. There will be no on-the-day admission.
Frankel, who gallops before racing at Newmarket on Saturday, added 50 per cent to the attendance at York last month. A similar effect would have seen close to 40,000 descending on Ascot.
Track spokesman Nick Smith said: ‘We would be able to sell more tickets but we are not prepared to provide bad facilities and we can’t take the financial hit.
‘The last thing we want is to undermine tickets people have already bought by over-filling the place and making it uncomfortable. In the Autumn, we reckon 32,000 is about right.’
Over 70,000 attend the Saturday of Royal Ascot, many in the Silver Ring, Heath Enclosure and temporary buildings which will not be used.
Smith added: ‘This is not only Ascot’s decision, it is the BCS stakeholders, which include the Jockey Club. Champions Day is already on a shoestring budget because we have to put so much into prize money. There is nothing left in the kitty and we can’t start making the day loss making.’