Rarely have there been scenes like it on a British racecourse. Over 8,000 racegoers were in full voice at Uttoxeter on Friday to see out 2021 in style.
It may have been a mere Class 4 race, but the Uttoxeter Tile and Bathroom Novices’ Handicap Chase, won by the Harry Whittington-trained Docpickedme, will be remembered more for the signing that drowned out the course commentator, rather than the race itself.
All week at Alexandra Palace, where the World Darts Championships are taking place, the protagonists are accompanied by the raucous crowd, who in throaty harmony constantly belt out ‘Don’t Take Me Home’, a tune that travelling Wales international football fans brought to the world’s consciousness ahead of the 2016 European Championships.
With ground staff working overtime to move a mile of rail just to get the fixture on, the course was repaid by boisterous, but well-behaved revellers.
Uttoxeter’s clerk of the course, Charlie Moore, admitted: “It has been the most amazing fixture the way it has grown in popularity and this New Year’s Eve fixture has been at Uttoxeter for quite some time, but in the last five years it has really taken off.
“I have never heard crowds singing like they were – it was impressive!
“And they were doing it in a very, very light-hearted way and in a great atmosphere and frame of mind.
“There was a crowd of over 8,000, great racing, no fallers, no injuries, happy jockeys and happy racegoers.
“It has been a great way to end the year. And huge thanks go to the team of ground staff. The amount of work they did to make sure we could race was unbelievable!”