LADIES of leisure helped set a new crowd record at Chester Races.
The course's Ladies Evening on Friday attracted 23,376 race-goers, almost 3,000 more than the record set at the same event last year.
Over the two days of the race meeting crowds were up by more than 4,000 on last year but Friday saw the biggest increase while Saturday was sold out.
'I think the bumper crowd was down to us doing a much better job of letting people know there were still tickets available for Friday until very late on,' said Chester Racecourse spokeswoman Melissa Hatton.
'This year we announced loud and clear that tickets were available for Friday and people responded by joining us for a great weekend of racing.'
The extra crowds mean extra revenue for the racecourse, which is reinvesting much of the money from this season in a paddock area extension.
'Every year we invest in one major project to improve the course and keep it up to date,' said Melissa.
'Last year we spent £2m on the stables, previously we bought the hotel. Now it is time to upgrade the paddock. We have no costings yet but a lot of the money made over the last weekend will go towards that work.'
Despite the inflated crowds the course reported no trouble.
'The atmosphere was great, probably because of the weather,' said Melissa.
'None of the bars was overcrowded and on Friday the ladies certainly went all out to get dressed up.
'That is the beauty of Ladies Evening, it gives people an excuse to wear a special outfit to a special event.'