Crowds Capped at 1000 Per Day at Galway Summer Festival

There will be an attendance cap of just 1,000 spectators per day for the Galway Summer Festival. The week-long fixture features the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle. Galway Racecourse had submitted a proposal of 5,000 fans a day through the turnstiles, but that was rejected by the Irish Government. Instead, the festival will have the same limit on spectators as the Irish Derby meeting at The Curragh earlier this summer. Ireland is still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We got news last night that we will be able...

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Royal Ascot Planning For 4,000 Spectators a Day

Under the current spectator cap put in place by the UK Government for its Roadmap out of lockdown, the five-day Royal Ascot meeting will be held with just 4,000 spectators each day. Ascot Racecourse is planning for that eventuality, but there is a slim chance that the meeting could be used as a pilot event that would allow up to 10,000 daily spectators at the venue. Step 3 of the Government Roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions is in place until at least June 21. There will be no general admission....

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Limited Spectators to Return to English Tracks From May 17

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the next phase of England's roadmap out of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown will go ahead as planned on Monday, meaning that limited spectators may return to English racecourses from May 17. As a result of restrictions easing across England as the Covid alert level moves from level four to level three in seven days, English tracks should be able to host 4,000 spectators or fill a venue to 50% of capacity, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Racecourse Association (RCA) and The Horsemen's Group (GB)...

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With Ontario Extending Stay-at-Home Order, Woodbine Opening Up in the Air

The Ontario government announced earlier this week that a province-wide COVID-19-related lockdown has been extended to at least May 20, dashing hopes that Woodbine will be able to open for business any time soon. The meet was supposed to begin Apr. 17. "There is a crisis right now in the Toronto area and we're right in the middle of it," said Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson. "They are running out of intensive care beds and the numbers are not going down. The good news is that more vaccines are coming in...

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Toronto-Area Lockdown Forces Woodbine Postponement

With a government-enforced 28-day lockdown set to take effect in the province of Ontario Thursday, Apr. 8 at 12:01 a.m., officials at Woodbine Racetrack announced late Wednesday that the planned opening of the 2021 meet would be delayed. Woodbine will continue to engage in dialogue with government officials and local health authorities in an effort to gain permission to operate a live meet during a lockdown situation in which they would try to begin operations once the stay-at-home order is lifted May 6. "This is very difficult news to share...

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COVID Lockdown Threatens Opening Day at Woodbine

The Ontario government has put in place new COVID-19 restrictions that will last a minium of four weeks and include a ban on horse racing. What is being called an "emergency brake" went into effect Saturday, putting the Apr. 17 opener at Woodbine in doubt. Its sister track, the harness facility Mohawk Park, was not able to run on Saturday and will be shut down indefinitely. There were 2,557 reported cases of COVID-19 Thursday in Ontario, the most in a single day since Jan. 22. While understanding the seriousness of...

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Woodbine Officials Negotiating for Permission to Complete Season

Despite a mandatory 28-day lockdown of Toronto and one of its suburbs, officials at Woodbine Racetrack remain in negotiations with the Ontario government as they seek permission to complete the 2020 Thoroughbred season. The lockdown went into effect Monday, Nov. 25, at 12:01 a.m. and allows for training and stabling of horses at the track, but live racing has been canceled. An update late Tuesday from Woodbine read: "Since being permitted to race without spectators in early June, Woodbine Entertainment has demonstrated that live racing poses no greater health risk...

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Immediate Future of Racing at Woodbine Unclear Following Lockdown Declaration

During a Friday afternoon briefing, Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, Canada, announced a mandatory 28-day lockdown in the city of Toronto and the suburb of Peel, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23. It was not immediately clear how the decision would impact racing operations at Woodbine Racetrack, though the Toronto Star reported that while training can continue, racing will cease. "With the numbers rising rapidly in certain regions, we have to make the tough, but necessary decisions now to protect our hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and...

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Owners Barred From French Tracks As Lockdown Begins

France Galop has confirmed that racing will be allowed to continue in the country during the new lockdown which came into force at midnight on Thursday. The action will return to being staged behind closed doors with only key personnel allowed to attend. The trainer and one member of staff per runner will be permitted but owners and spectators are no longer allowed to be present at race meetings in France. The current restrictions are expected to be in place for at least a month. A statement released by the...

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Racing Continues Amid New Lockdowns

Racing in France and Germany looks set to continue behind closed doors after both countries have been placed in new temporary lockdowns. The rising rates of coronavirus across Europe means that, as of midnight on Thursday, France will return to lockdown conditions seen earlier in 2020, with only essential journeys being permitted and restaurants, bars and most shops closed for all bar essential provisions. However, the country's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has confirmed that professional sport can continue and that professional athletes are allowed to train and to travel to...

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TDN Q&A With Alex Elliott

With the yearling sales now in full swing, TDN quizzes industry figures on past purchases, life during lockdown and their perspective on the sales over the next few weeks. Today, Alex Elliott answers our questions. TDN: What was your best yearling purchase over the last few years? And your favourite? AE: Group 2 winner New Mandate (Ire) (New Bay {GB}) is a horse that has quickly become both one of my favourite and best purchases. He was bought at last year's Arqana August Yearling Sale for €35,000 and was the...

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TDN Q and A With Eddie Linehan

With the yearling sales now in full swing, TDN quizzes industry figures on past purchases, life during lockdown and their perspective on the sales over the next few weeks. Today, Eddie Linehan answers our questions. TDN: What was your best yearling purchase over the last few years? And your favourite? EL: [G1 Matron S. winner] Champers Elysees (Ire) (Elzaam {Aus}) was the best I've ever signed for. She was late on the third day of the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale and was a standout yearling that day. Johnny Murtagh...

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