VIDEO: Peppa Pig a winner at Doncaster races

The horses were also-rans in the popularity stakes at Doncaster races today, with TV star Peppa Pig and England soccer legend Gordon Banks proving big draws with the crowd.

A special Father’s Day meeting at Town Moor drew thousands of families and queues quickly built up for young and old to meet the animated character and the 76-year-old who is the only English goalkeeper to have lifted the World Cup.

But overcast weather meant crowds appeared to be down on last year’s 22,000 - although there was none of the congestion and big queues for refreshments that caused some discontent among visitors in 2013.

Racecourse staff said they were delighted by the numbers from outside Doncaster, with many families from west and east Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire enjoying the attractions, which included a funfair and games for children, as well as free entry for under 18s.

The meeting was also being used to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund and for the first time, the Royal Air Force waved the flag as the Falcons Parachute Display team made a spectacular jump onto the racecourse between races.

Among those enjoying meeting Peppa the Pig was Moorends man Rob Snell, who had brought his four-year-old daughter, Eloise.

He said: “She loves Peppa and this is the second time they’ve met. I work at the racecourse and as soon as I knew this was on I made sure I booked time off.”

Long queues also built up for the chance to shake the famous hand of Gordon Banks and pose for a photograph with him.