01:08PM, Tuesday 18 May 2021
Fans returned to Windsor Racecourse yesterday for the first time since October 2019 as COVID-19 restrictions eased.
The racecourse in Maidenhead Road was packed with punters despite the weather although the last race had to be called off due to torrential rain.
Staff said they were proud of the team for making today possible and said it was a 'real pleasure' to see people enjoying racing again.
The inside hospitality spaces were also allowed to open up.
The first race - the Fitzdares Welcome Back Spectators to Racing Handicap was won by Olympic Theatre
Racing Post editor Tom Kerr said he was 'thrilled to be welcoming back punters where they rightly belong'.
He said: "Fans are the heartbeat of horse racing, the buzzing atmosphere and roar of the crowd in the big moments cannot be replaced and its not been the same without them.
“Everyone in the industry has been working tirelessly to keep racing going over the past 12 months, and racecourses – like many sport stadia – have taken a big financial hit from the lack of supporters in attendance. Aside from the racing itself, its great that racecourses will also now be able to reopen hospitality facilities and start to drive these additional income streams.
"Monday’s action at these venues is a huge moment that belongs to the spectators. And with the Royal Ascot less than a month away, it’s the perfect time to be getting back into the swing of things as we shape up for a sensational summer of racing."
The changes could see Colnbrook with Poyle, Langley Kedermister and Foxborough wards moved from Slough to the Windsor parliamentary constituency.