Jockey Club records strong profits and turnover in 2014

Many Clouds, ridden by Leighton Aspell, clears the Water Jump on their way to winning the 2015 Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree Racecourse Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Grand National is one of the Jockey Club's major racing events

The Jockey Club, which runs 15 UK racecourses, reported profits for 2014 of £21.7m, down very slightly from the previous year's record £22m.

The body stages the high-profile Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival and the Derby.

Turnover also rose by 5.1% to a record of £171.2m.

This was boosted by ticket sales, particularly at major racing events, hospitality and catering, media income, music nights and non-racing events.

The group's courses include famous names such as Aintree, Epsom Downs and Newmarket.

Prize money

It allowed the Jockey Club to contribute a record £19.1m to prize money in 2014 - up from £18.2m in 2013.

It said this took its prize money contribution in the last decade to £146.4m.

In 2014, the group also invested £34.1m on new and upgraded facilities and "maintaining standards and racing surfaces across its racecourses nationwide".

Last year, those racecourses saw attendances of 1.8 million people at its 362 racing fixtures, up from 1.7 million at 361 fixtures in 2013.

The Jockey Club has also been continuing its "racing plus music" joint-venture events, featuring big-name acts such as Madness, Tom Jones, Boyzone, Kaiser Chiefs, Kylie Minogue and Spandau Ballet.

'Sport's promotion'

"I'm delighted we've been able to grow the business for a sixth successive year, because it allows us to increase our dividend for British racing," said the Jockey Club's chief executive Simon Bazalgette.

"By maximising returns from our commercial operations, we've been able to invest more than £400m into the sport in the last 10 years. We've done that through prize money and facilities for customers and participants, and also supporting the sport's promotion."

He added: "Racing brings enjoyment to millions of people each year and is responsible for tens of thousands of jobs.

"We take very seriously our role as stewards of some of its most iconic events, as well as our operations throughout all levels of the sport."

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