Royal Ascot in 'waiting game' to see if they can welcome 10,000 fans as tickets go on sale for Goodwood and York Ebor

A NUMBER of racing's hottest tickets in town have gone on sale – but thewait goes on at Ascot.

Glorious Goodwood and the York Ebor Festival are two high-profile meetings planning to welcome back punters on course.

Both Goodwood and York usually welcome bumper crowds, but last summer were forced to race in front of empty grandstands.

Goodwood had been in line to welcome a small number of punters as part of a pilot scheme, but even that was cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.

This year there are renewed hopes for both fixtures to welcome back a capacity crowd and tickets for all days of each meeting are now on sale.

With Glorious Goodwood to kick off on July 27 and York's Ebor Festival on August 18, both are well clear of June 21 when all restrictions are hoped to be lifted.

The news comes as owners are to be welcomed back to racecourses from March 29.

It means they will be able to attend the Randox Grand National fixture that gets underway on April 8.

Royal Ascot are still waiting to here whether their crowd will be capped at 4,000 or 10,000. Tickets are not yet open to be purchased, with punters only able to register their interest.

The course has previously confirmed they will not be changing from their original date of 15 June.

If they moved the meeting back a week they could possibly welcome back a full crowd given restrictions are pencilled in to end on June 21.

But the course aren't willing to take the risk given the impact it would have on the fixture list and the potential cost of restrictions not being eased 'at the earliest possible' point.

Nick Smith, Director of Racing at Ascot, said: "We are waiting on the RCA’s discussions with DCMS to assess whether we will be at 4,000 or 10,000 capacity – in line with all seated stadia of our size.

"So at this stage, it’s still a waiting game for us.

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"We confirmed pre-Cheltenham when announcing our prize money that the dates of the meeting won’t change.

"Aside from real difficulties in Pattern terms, to move by a week to run at a date that the government have said only will be “at the earliest” for its next stage isn’t tenable.

"To build the site and for any slight slippage to the roadmap would be very uncomfortable."

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