UP to 13,000 racing fans will ignore the economic slump to welcome the new Flat season at Doncaster this weekend, writes Bob Westerdale.
Racecourse managing director Mark Spincer hopes to improve on last year’s bumper Lincoln turnout, despite the financial gloom that has impacted on the area over the last 12 months.
Spincer said: “Everybody has been hit but last year we had bigger crowds than the year before so that was really positive.
“It’s about giving people a good day out, these are difficult times with the recession.
“We work on the philosophy that if we give people a good time hopefully they will come back.
“Last year we had around 11,500 so if the weather stays as it is we could get maybe 13,000, depending on how many walk up on the day.”
The William Hill Lincoln meeting runs over two days but the major events are on Saturday.
Ninety horses were entered for the £100,000 Lincoln; 22 can compete, the next favoured 22 are automatically placed in the £40,000 Spring Mile.
“It’s fantastic for Doncaster to officially opening the flat racing season and we have done this for years,” said Spincer.
“You’ve only got to talk to owners and trainers and jockeys - they can’t wait for the start of Flat season.
“I know they have been running on all-weather but getting back on the turf is hugely important so everybody is excited.”
Last year’s Lincoln winner was Sweet Lightning, who came home two and half lengths clear of Brae Hill.
The seven-year-old has been plagued by injuries since but will run again on Saturday.
Spincer says has been running his eye over Eton Forever, who ran away with the William Hill Spring Mile in 2011.
He said: “I don’t mind who wins as long as they all come home safely.
“Eton Forever would be great.
“Whoever wins the race is one to watch for the rest of the season; you’ll probably see them go onto to win some big races.”