Gloucestershire

Princess Anne opens Cheltenham Racecourse grandstand

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Media captionCheltenham Racecourse's new grandstand has been officially opened by The Princess Royal

Princess Anne has officially opened a new grandstand at Cheltenham Racecourse that is named after her.

The Princess Royal Grandstand is the final part of a £45m redevelopment of the course, which has taken 19 months to complete.

She said it was a "real honour and privilege" to have the stand named after her.

The stand, which replaces the previous 1920s structure, houses restaurants, bars and a new royal box.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Racing at Cheltenham continued throughout the redevelopment project, which took 19 months

The redevelopment is the largest project ever undertaken by the Jockey Club.

Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, said it was "complex" to organise "as we were determined to continue racing here throughout the building of the 14 separate elements in this project".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Princess Royal Grandstand boasts bars, restaurants and a new royal box

A champagne bar on the first floor will be named after the horse Big Buck's, who won four World Hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival and a record 18 consecutive races.

The princess, who is an accomplished horsewoman, also opened a festival of racing at the racecourse.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of people have gathered at the racecourse for the beginning of a three-day racing festival

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