A 1,000-spectator pilot event at Newmarket on Sept. 24-26 remains greenlit following discussions with local public authorities and the course’s safety advisory group. The Department of Culture, Media & Sport approved the racing-with-fans trial, but exacting health and safety measure will be in place. Warwick Racecourse is holding its spectator pilot event on Sept. 21. Earlier this summer, a pilot event at the Qatar Goodwood Festival was called off at the 11th hour, and only the Wednesday, Sept. 9 of the St. Leger Festival at Doncaster allowed fans. The Cambridgeshire meeting features will be just the third race meeting with fans since British racing shut down due to COVID-19 in March.
“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,” said Newmarket East Region Director for Jockey Club Racecourses Amy Starkey. “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.”