The British government on Friday morning withdrew permission for Goodwood Racecourse to host 5,000 spectators on Saturday as part of a pilot project for the return of fans to sporting events. A joint statement from the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and Goodwood said it is believed the cancellation of the event is due to concerns about the national infection rate of coronavirus and is not a reflection of any concerns about Goodwood or the measures taken there. Racing will take place on Saturday behind closed doors.
David Armstrong, chief executive of the RCA, said, “The RCA is very disappointed to learn that the pilot event at Goodwood Racecourse scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed. We understand and respect the issues raised within the Prime Minister’s announcement and have always maintained that public health has been paramount to any event, be it racing resuming behind closed doors or with crowds. The work undertaken by the sport, and especially the Goodwood team, to bring the safety protocols to life has been very thorough and detailed. It is worth reiterating there were no concerns with the protocols put in place by the sport and Goodwood Racecourse and we wish them the very best for the final two days of the Qatar Goodwood Festival which will take place behind closed doors. The RCA will continue to work closely with government to plan future pilot events to welcome back crowds subject to the latest public health advice.”