Horse Racing Starting Back Up Behind Closed Doors

| July 24, 2020
Horse racing during coronavirus pandemic
Horse racing continues in the face of coronavirus pandemic

In a bid to restart their economies, countries are poised to resume sporting activities such as horse racing as the impact of the Corona Virus pandemic lingers on. A resumption of sporting activities is strategic as they play a vital role in the economies of many countries today.  

For instance, horse racing in Australia makes up a multi-billion-dollar industry that consists of several horse tracks spread across the country. The industry also employs hundreds of thousands of part-and full-time workers.  

Some of the most dedicated fans in horse racing reside in Australia and the UK amongst other countries. This year, due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, the horse races will be missing fans. Instead, horse racing events will hold behind closed doors, while fans will have the opportunity to watch the races live on TV or online. 

The shift to closed-door events has a far-reaching effect on the sport beyond a lack of spectators. Ticket sales and physical gambling booths are both a major part of the events and are currently off the table for the organizers. 

Although nothing can be done about ticket sales, sports betting is making a complete move to online platforms. Thus, it is known that with events behind closed doors horse racing betting is expected to surge online

Thankfully, much of the needed structure for a smooth transition to gambling online has been improving over the last decade. For instance, sports betting has moved mostly online in the UK, US, Australia and other developed countries. This shift has accounted for an increase in sport betting revenues even as overall sporting revenues dwindle globally. 

Some of the major races in Australia and the UK that are still on track to hold behind closed doors include the following: 

Australian Events

  • The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival

This Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the biggest horse racing carnival in the whole of Australia. It is rightly dubbed the race that stops a nation. It is home to the Melbourne Cup worth $8 million in prize money. 

This year the event is set to hold amid the huge changes that will come to the event’s conduct. The event which welcomes competitors worldwide is still on track to hold behind closed doors between 31st October and 7th November 2020.

  • The Sydney Spring Racing Carnival

This is another phenomenal horse racing event holding on Australian soil this year. The horse racing event features the Group 1 Epsom Handicap, The Metropolitan and the Spring Champion Stakes. 

Specialized events in the carnival include the $1 million Golden Rose event for three-year-olds, the $14 million Everest, the world’s richest turf race and the Golden Eagle for four-year-olds. It will hold. The Sydney Spring Carnival spans a longer period but will overlap the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival between 19th September and 21st November 2020. 

Events in the UK

  • The Royal Ascot

The Royal Ascot is well known as the Queen of England’s favourite meeting. The major changes to this year’s event will make it the first time in all of her reign to have missed the event. All of the changes that have come to the games will not remove the event’s international competitiveness. 

Horses will be allowed to travel from other countries, although their trainers will not be permitted in. Other plans in the event include: 

  • 360-camera monitoring of racing horses 
  • Face time video calls with trainers and jockeys for debriefing 
  • Punters are advised to dress up at home and don their hats regardless of a lack of a physical gathering. 
  • Jockeys will be mandated to wear facemasks, and adequate separation ensured in the changing rooms. 
  • There will be no showers for jockeys between the races. 
  • Qatar Goodwood Festival

The Glorious Goodwood, which is sponsored by Qatar, is one of the favourite racing events in the UK. This year plans to hold the event are still in full gear as the UK permits holding closed-door competitions. The Qatar Goodwood Festival witnesses lower prize money than that from previous years. The Qatar Sussex Stake the feature event will be run for prize money of £275,000 down from £593,391 last year. 

However, on the official Goodwood website, there is an official release on the organizers’ hopes that the event will be held publicly if the pandemic situation gets better before the event. This year’s event will run for four days between 28th July and 1st August. 

Final Thoughts

The high impact of the Corona Virus pandemic is still looming over the world. However, as nations continue to improve in the pandemic struggle, economies have to be revived. Horse racing and other sporting events play a major role in reviving these economies gradually. 

As the modalities for horse racing events to be held continue to be reviewed, sports fans can have an enjoyable time viewing the events at home and placing their bets online. This guarantees a win-win situation for the state, the horse racing industry and the fans. 

Category: International

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.