Ascot Racecourse Releases 2020 Business Summary

The 2020 financial results were announced by Ascot Racecourse on Wednesday. Total turnover was down by 77% due to COVID-19 restrictions with only two racedays being held with spectators and another 18 run behind closed doors. There were also five lost racedays due to the pandemic and one abandonment due to inclement weather. Pandemic insurance and support from the UK Government through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and business rates relief prevented a pre-tax loss of over £31 million. In addition, the staff were restructured to adjust to pandemic trading...

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Virtual IFHA Conference Looks to Future of Racing

The 2021 International Conference of Horseracing Authorities, organised by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), will be held virtually for the second year in a row on Oct. 4. This year's focus will be on global racing's evolution and future challenges, with the conference digitally released on Oct. 7. New IFHA Chair Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges will give the keynote speech, as well as several panel discussions. Some of the topics to be covered in this year's conference include: digitalisation and media; equine welfare; and climate change and sustainability. Rishi Persad...

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Crowd Capacity Increased at Irish Racecourses From Sept. 6

Irish racecourses can host up to 50% of their outdoor capacity beginning on Sept. 6 following the Irish Government's latest COVID-19 response roadmap, Horse Racing Ireland announced on Thursday. Racecourses may also utilise 60% of their indoor capacity for hospitality purposes should attendees consume food and beverages indoors as long as they provide evidence of their Digital Covid Vaccine Cert (DCC). Attendance in both spheres will be increased to 100% as long as all covid restrictions are lifted on Oct. 22. Regarding Irish Champions Weekend on Sept. 11 and 12,...

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Women Jockeys' World Cup Cancelled For Second Year

The Women Jockey's World Cup has been cancelled for the second year running due to continuing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Started at Bro Park in Stockholm, Sweden in 2017, the event is traditionally staged in June and has seen riders from 12 countries compete during the first three editions. Dennis Madsen Svensk Galopp's Director of Racing said, "It is very frustrating to have to cancel the Women Jockeys' World Cup for a second year running. "The international nature of the event requires early planning and even with the concessions that are...

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£3 Million Plus Prize Money Boost at The Jockey Club Racecourses

A prize money boost of over £3 million at The Jockey Club racecourses for the remainder of 2021 was announced on Tuesday. This purse increase brings prize money to within 9% of pre-pandemic levels. Total prize money will exceed £42 million this year at all levels of the sport for the 15 racecourses operated by The Jockey Club. This amount is prior to additional funding from the industry's Appearance Money Scheme (AMS). These prize money increases are effective immediately, with the Cazoo Derby Festival gaining £65,000 and a £135,000 boost...

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Record Trade at Arqana's Pandemic-Proof Breeze

DONCASTER, UK--It takes more than mere pandemic-induced travel restrictions to blunt the ardour of the bloodstock industry. A new record for turnover and median set the tone for a robust day of trade in Doncaster and, just as would be expected in normal times, the buyers' list at the Arqana Breeze-Up Sale represented many nations, with plenty of help from the Middle East. The familiar duo of Anthony Stroud and David Loder leaned nonchalantly on the parade ring rail to make their play for the Medaglia d'Oro colt who would...

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2020/21 Levy Yield of £80 Million Announced By HBLB

Approximately £80 million will be the Levy income for the year that ended on Mar. 31, 2021, the Horserace Betting Levy Board announced on Monday. The figure is a result of provisional submissions to date from most Levy-paying bookmakers. Originally, as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed in the UK, the HBLB had estimated a Levy return between £76-£85 million. Racing in the UK was halted from mid-March until June 1, 2020. HBLB Chairman Paul Darling commented, "There was no British racing for the first two months of the Levy year and...

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Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Card Produces High Handle Number

The card for the 84th GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby produced all-sources pari-mutuel handle of $24,282,400 Saturday. This was the largest Santa Anita Derby day handle since 2007. In addition, fans returned to the Arcadia oval on a restricted basis, with 8,246 on-track for the 12-race program. It was the first time in over a year that fans were allowed back at Santa Anita since the COVID-19 pandemic began last winter. Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) saluted in the day's feature event, the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby for...

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Tatts Ireland Cancels February NH Sale

Tattersalls Ireland announced the cancellation of the February NH Sale, which had been scheduled for Apr. 7. Despite exploring all possible options to hold the sale safely, Tattersalls Ireland was informed by the Department of Agriculture that staging a bloodstock sale in Ireland while facing the continuing effects of the pandemic would not be permitted. Lots catalogued for the February NH Sale will now be offered in conjunction with the yearling section of the November NH Sale. "We explored every avenue to hold the sale and to offer vendors the...

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Tattersalls Ireland Reschedules May Store Sale

The Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 14. Tattersalls Ireland has taken this step due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and prevailing travel restrictions. The Tattersalls Ireland Select July Store Sale is slated for Thursday, July 15, and the remaining stores will be put under the hammer at the Tattersalls Ireland August NH Sale on Aug. 10-11. At this time, inspections for the various store sales are almost complete, and the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale remains as scheduled on June 23-24. "Naturally...

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New COVID Protocols Outlined at Santa Anita, Golden Gate

Based on increasing vaccine availability and declining COVID-19 numbers, The Stronach Group and TOC outlined new protocols at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields to allow licensed owners more access to the grounds. SANTA ANITA PARK Mandatory Santa Anita protocols, including social distancing (a minimum of six feet), face cloths covering your nose and mouth, health screening, temperature check and wrist banding will continue to be enforced for everyone entering Santa Anita, including the Stable Area. Winner's Circle After each race, the winning horse will be brought into the...

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Banner Year Decades in the Making for Wachtel

The 2020 racing season was fraught with many challenges, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and halted racing in New York for about three months, continuing to wreak havoc with on-track attendance at many of the nation's racing venues throughout the remainder of the year. And while for many it was a time of turmoil and struggle, it proved to be a banner season for Wachtel Stable, campaigning not one but two Eclipse champions in 2020--Vequist (Nyquist, Champion Juvenile Filly) and Channel Maker (English Channel, Champion Turf Male). "Unfortunately, I...

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