Grand National cancelled amid coronavirus pandemic

By Owain Flanders

The Randox Health Grand National has been cancelled in the latest measure implemented to limit the spread of coronavirus in the UK.

In an announcement on its website, the Jockey Club said it was “no longer appropriate to stage the event” in accordance with the UK Government’s new public health guidance regarding avoiding social contact and stopping non-essential travel.

The horseracing festival, due to be held between 2 and 4 April, will not be rescheduled for another date with the National Hunt season concluding at the end of April.

Sally Dudgeon, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said: “The Randox Health Grand National Festival was just three weeks away and it’s very clear to us it will not be possible for the event to take place. Public health must come first.

“We were working on a plan to stage the Grand National behind closed doors given its importance to the racing industry and beyond, but following the new government measures confirmed this evening to help to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, this is not a viable option.”

On Monday, the British Horseracing Authority set out plans to host all UK horseracing events behind closed doors until the end of March.

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