GAME OF PATIENCE
No racing until next month at earliest but Elsworth says it was the right call
RACING’S hopes of a resumption this Friday were dashed yesterday when the Government announced that no professional sport, even behind closed doors, can take place until at least June 1.
Trainers, jockeys and racecourses believed they had provided sufficient measures for the sport to return this weekend following the lockdown on March 17 after the outbreak of coronavirus.
And trainer Richard Hughes could not hide his frustation.
“It will be safer to go to Lingfield Park than Hyde Park and it will be policed,” Hughes, right, said.“It’s worked behind closed doors in other countries, so why not here?”
But David Elsworth, the oldest licenced trainer in the country at aged 80, took a more measured approach. “Unfortunately,
By Chris Goulding
with the gravity of the situation there is more at stake than racing,” he said.“Racing is an unnecessary indulgence, a triviality. “However, it’s a big industry and big employer. I thought that would give us a bit of clout. I’m disappointed. I want racing to resume and there are also the financial implications. “But you have to balance that with the welfare of the country. It’s a difficult call, but I think it is the right call.”
In a statement, the BHA said: “The Resumption of Racing Group will meet later this week and ensure that the provisional fixture programme, including the scheduling of the Classics and other flagship races, meet the new government timeline.”