The stand is the first tangible indicator of the way Cheltenham is spending the £45m it is putting in to improving facilities for racegoers. It’s a three-tier building with steps in front of it, and houses the royal box for the remainder of this season. Building work began immediately after last month’s Showcase meeting, where there was a gap from the end of the main grandstand down to the horse walk from the parade ring to the racetrack.
There were no steps in front of the old building, so it is to be hoped that this will ease the crush in front of the grandstand a little when the course is particularly busy. It will be taken down straight after the Festival next March and replaced in the following 12 months as part of a two year major rebuild of spectator facilities.
This weekend, adjacent to the Mandarin Bar in the main grandstand, Cheltenham gives racegoers the chance to send their own tributes to Tony McCoy following his 4,000th jump winner at Towcester last week. Fans can sign in on the wall and leave a message. These will all be incorporated into the new grandstand in time.
Sophia Brudenell, communications manager at the circuit said, “AP is a legend of our sport, so it was only right that Cheltenham commemorated his amazing achievement of 4,000 winners. The AP Celebration Wall is a way that racegoers here can mark this occasion and I’m sure it will be really popular. The wall will then become a permanent feature in the grandstand at Cheltenham.”