Warwick and Newmarket still hope to host test events with limited number of spectators after ‘constructive’ talks with The Jockey Club
- Racing has twice had pilot events cancelled at Goodwood and Doncaster
- Jockey Club said ‘constructive’ talks had been held with stakeholders at Warwick
- Authorities still working on a plan to have a 1,000-person trial at Newmarket
Hopes for pilot events with limited numbers of spectators at Warwick on Monday and Newmarket, for the three-day Cambridgeshire meeting, starting on September 24 were still alive on Tuesday night.
The Jockey Club said ‘constructive’ talks had been held with stakeholders at Warwick, while the plan to have a 1,000-person trial at Newmarket remained on.
Amy Starkey, who runs Newmarket Racecourses as East Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: ‘We’re pleased to be working closely with local authorities to stage a limited spectator trial at the Rowley Mile over the course of the Cambridgeshire Meeting.
Pilot events with limited numbers of spectators could go-ahead at Warwick and Newmarket
‘The racecourse is a vast, predominantly outdoor environment that could safely space out several thousand people, not just the maximum 1,000 who will be in attendance with stringent health and safety measures in place.
‘The Newmarket trial will provide important insights we can share across our industry and with other sports, so that when it is possible to welcome some level of spectators back to events more regularly in the future we are well equipped to do so.’
Racing has twice had pilot events cancelled. Plans to have a crowd at the final day of Glorious Goodwood were called off the day before and while a crowd of 2,500 was welcomed on the first day of the Doncaster St Meeting last week, the final three days were run behind closed doors on the orders of Doncaster Director of Public Health after a small rise in the local covid-19 infection rate.
The cancelled pilots have made it less likely that racecourses might welcome back limited crowds from October 1, a possibility for all sporting venues that had been set by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport,
Racecourses, already hit hard, are viewing the financial implications of another delay to the hoped-for gradual re-introduction of crowds with increasing dismay.