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.

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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".

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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.

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

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