Talking Horses: tracks on alert as racecourses open their doors again

By: Greg Wood Monday 17 May 2021

Will those once-a-year racegoers who make up the bulk of the sport’s attendance keep up the racegoing habit?

It was odd to look around the bleak emptiness of the York racecourse on the final day of the Dante meeting on Friday and remember that on John Smith’s Cup day at the track in less than two months’ time, the grandstands could – in theory, at least – be full to bursting point for a card that reliably attracts 40,000 racegoers if the sun is out. The following month, it could welcome around 85,000 more to the four-day Ebor Festival.

After 14 months with no paying spectators at British tracks, apart from a couple of “trial” days last summer and a handful of meetings towards the end of 2020, the thought of an imminent return to the sights, sounds (and smells) of a packed racecourse still feels somewhat far-fetched. And all the more so, admittedly, after Boris Johnson’s warning on Friday that the Indian variant of Covid-19 could “seriously disrupt” the easing of lockdown.

Related: Mother Earth denied Classic double as Couersamba rides to shock Paris win

Carlisle: 1.00 El Caballo 1.35 Ventura Flame 2.10 Latin Five 2.45 Ralphy Boy Two 3.20 Prince Of Pearls 3.55 Lexington Knight 4.30 Lexington Liberty 5.00 Seventeen O Four (nap) 

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