THE sun was shining on the racecourse crowd as thousands descended for a day of glitz, glamour, joy and anguish.
Hen parties, groups of friends and families, birthday parties and frequent race-goers arrived at Uttoxeter Racecourse for the biggest race day of the year.
Jockey Richard Johnson rode 13-2 favourite Goulanes, trained by David Pipe, to first place in the Betfred Midlands Grand National chase and as promised racecourse director David MacDonald gave away nearly £300,000 worth of premier enclosure race day tickets to race-goers.
The day started off with an inspirational talk with Claire Lomas, who has been raising funds for spinal research after she was left paralysed in a freak accident.
Uttoxeter singer Maisy Hepburn then entertained crowds and then it was on to the six jump races.
The drinks were flowing as bets were placed and the atmosphere was electric as race-goers waited earnestly to see whether they would strike lucky.
Frequent race-goer Sally Walker said: “It’s lovely to get a win. We’ve come over for the day, the six of us from Derby - this is our second time coming to Uttoxeter. We’re having a wonderful day.”
Emily Bennett, 28, of Stafford, celebrated her birthday at the racecourse. She said: “It’s always such a great atmosphere especially on Midlands Grand National day so it’s a good choice for a special occasion.”
Mr Johnson said: “My grandfather, my father and I have all won the race.
“I was here when he won at in 1982 and its great to follow in his footsteps.
Mr Pipe tweeted: “The perfect end to a fantastic week. I can’t quite believe it.”
David MacDonald, executive director of the racecourse said: “It’s sensational that he has won four years in a row and we are happy to honour his victory with free tickets for everyone.”