AP McCoy backs plans for horse racing to return in June as sport draws up proposal for races to restart with strict restrictions that could see jockeys and officials living in quarantine at racecourses
- AP McCoy says he’s open to horse racing restarting behind closed doors
- McCoy says sport must first receive green light from government and experts
- If the lockdown continues horse racing industry could face losses of £193m
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
AP McCoy has backed plans for horse racing to restart in June as officials continue to work on a proposal for the sport to return next month.
All race meetings in the UK were cancelled following the government’s lockdown on March 23 in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.
But the sport’s organisers have been working on a detailed plan which could see racing return in June behind closed doors.
AP McCoy has welcomed plans for horse racing to return behind closed doors in June
No horse racing has taken place since March 17 after the government issued a UK lockdown
The proposal put together by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) would involve jockeys, staff and officials living on site in quarantine.
Horses would be brought to and from the race venue each day, while the races themselves would be restricted to a limited number of locations.
Fields could also be limited to just 12 races per day and McCoy says although it isn’t the ideal solution it may be the right one in the current climate.
He told Sky News: ‘I would never, ever have thought something like this could have happened, but if it was our only option at the moment, then why not?’
McCoy says sport must get green light from government and experts before restarting
Experts believe Cheltenham Festival could’ve accelerated spread of coronavirus in March
‘With the right government and medical guidelines we can get it back in a restricted capacity and hopefully get it going again.
‘If it was a possibility and our only possibility, then it’s worth making that step.’
Like many other sports that have been badly affected by the lockdown, horse racing chiefs are fearful of the financial implications of a lack of racing.
According to Sky News, every year the sport generates £4 billion a year to the UK economy and employs approximately 18,000 people but a prolonged shutdown could see the sport lose £193million.
Some experts have claimed Cheltenham Festival in March could have accelerated the spread of coronavirus after thousands of spectators attended event despite confirmed infections in the UK.