Horse racing feeling the strain of coronavirus​

Horse racing feeling the strain of coronavirus

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The coronavirus crisis has had a major impact on horse racing, with the sport across the world affected by the pandemic.

Some regions have cancelled all meetings for the foreseeable future, while others are continuing to race behind closed doors.

Read on as we assess at the latest state-of-play and assess when horse racing may be able to return to some semblance of normality.

Grand National falls by the wayside

The Grand National meeting at April is undoubtedly one the highest profile events to suffer as a result of coronavirus.

The iconic steeplechase attracts a worldwide audience of around 500 million people and generates huge revenue for the local economy on Merseyside.

The Jockey Club cancelled the event after the United Kingdom government advised against mass gatherings of people.

Tiger Roll was one of the most popular racing tips from experts in the field to win the race for a third successive year, but Gordon Elliott’s stable star will be denied the chance to make history.

Ireland takes a different route to the UK

The British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) quickly followed the Jockey Club’s lead by cancelling all meetings under its jurisdiction until at least the end of April.

However, Ireland has taken a different route and is continuing to race, albeit with some stringent safeguarding measures in place.

All races are taking place behind closed doors and clear policies have been implemented regarding social distancing for the people who are allowed to enter the racetrack.

Horse Racing Ireland say that they are monitoring the situation on a daily basis, but are eager to keep racing with around 28,000 people dependent on the sport for employment.

French racing on lockdown

All race meetings in France have been cancelled until at least April 15 and many pundits have predicted that the suspension may well be extended.

France Galop has said it is taking urgent measures to financially support trainers during what is an unprecedented time for the sport.

The organisation has stopped collecting access fees to the training centres for horses stabled in training centres at Deauville, Chantilly and Maisons-Laffitte.

They are also planning to seek financial assistance from the government and have pledged to ensure that the sport will emerge from the lockdown fully intact.

Marquand shines as Australia stages big meeting

Racing has continued in Australia, with the industry keen to keep going in order to minimise the financial impact of coronavirus.

Rosehill staged a top-class meeting on Saturday, with the Ranvet Stakes one of the highlights on a star-studded card.

British jockey Tom Marquand was superb as he rode his first Group 1 winner in the race aboard the William Haggas-trained Addeybb.

Marquand was also successful in a Group 3 event earlier in the day, producing a power-packed ride to steer Young Rascal to victory.

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