British Horse Racing Prepare For Racing behind Closed Doors

After the Cheltenham Festival still went ahead last week after concerns of the mass spread of the COVID-19 virus, The British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) have been in discussions with the COVID-19 steering group as to what direction the industry should move.

Behind Closed Doors

The move could see all horse racing being run behind closed doors in a bid to protect staff who play critical roles in the protection of industry staff.The BHA said in a statement, “ Monday’s race meeting at Kelso is already being run behind closed doors following guidance from the Scottish Government. No spectators will be present and strict procedures will be observed to minimize the health risks for staff who do attend, including Jockeys, trainers, racecourse staff, stable grooms and officials. The fixture will continue to be televised.”Arena Racing Company (ARC) called for assistance in aid, to allow some of the fixtures to go ahead without the paying public, however, the move would have huge implications to the ARC as they would stand to lose between £500,000 to £600,00 if no spectators were present.

Racing and Bookies Unite To Provide Betting Products

Not only having no spectators at races will have a huge financial impact on the ARC, it’s particularly important the racing and bookmakers stay in close correspondence so they can still deliver betting products with other sports fixtures being cancelled or postponed. They went on to say, most of the races would not be financially viable if no spectators are present so are looking for additional relief from elsewhere.The news comes after Horseracing Ireland stated they were conducting all races behind closed doors after mass gatherings of over 500 was now restricted. The restrictions are expected to stay in place until the 29th March.  

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