Weekly Racing Blog - Warwick Pilot Gets Green Light

Just shy of 500 people headed to Warwick Racecourse on Monday for the latest pilot scheme attempt to get racing on with a crowd of some description in attendance.

After discussions with Public Health England the decision was made by the Warwick management team to reduce capacity to just under 500 attendees (the original plan was 1,000) for today’s meeting to go ahead with owners, an agreed amount of annual members and an agreed number of paying customers in hospitality.

The restricted capacity was filled in the following manner: 150 Annual Members, 124 hospitality bookers and up to 200 racehorse owners, in addition to participants and race day staff. The same capacity rules and stringent Covid-19 protocols will be in place for the second day of the two-day fixture on Tuesday.

Everyone attending Warwick’s season opener was requested to read and accept their “Spectator Health Code of Conduct” before arriving at the racecourse.

Here are some of the main bullet points from the guide, including the last couple which bring about a wry smile in a very British stiff-upper-lip kind of a way:

  • Please do not come racing if you have a temperature or feel ill in any way.
  • Do not attempt to enter restricted areas of the racecourse.
  • Maintain good hygiene, wash your hands regularly and please use our hand sanitiser stations.
  • You will only be required to use a facial covering whilst entering the site and also whilst using indoor facilities, including toilets.
  • Remember that all food and beverage outlets are cashless.
  • When drinking inside, you need to be located at a standing up table or seated at a table.
  • Observe respiratory etiquette: cover your mouth if coughing and take care with raising your voice when shouting home a winner.
  • Avoid hugs, high five and handshakes.

I’m pretty sure you don’t get any special dispensation for a sneeze and I’d say go for your lives when it comes to the elbow rubs, but all in all, a thorough set of rules which should see us begin to move forward.

Magic Marquand

One week after winning the St Leger aboard Galileo Chrome, Tom Marquand was making the headlines once again after landing a 51/1 Ayr treble, which included the coveted Ayr Gold Cup.

The William Haggas-trained Nahaarr was still well back in the field racing coming into the final two furlongs at Ayr, but finished with a fair rattle to just deny Spanish City in the dying embers of the race. Last week’s Curragh scorer – Mr Lupton, finished third with Soldier’s Minute coming home fourth.

Marquand and Haggas combined earlier in the afternoon to lift the Doonside Cup with dual Group One winner Addeybb.

Addeybb’s next target is highly likely to be next month’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on the 17th October for which you can get best odds of 11/1 with SportNation.

Haggas also provided the third leg of Marquand’s Saturday treble as Johan came up trumps in the one mile, Luxury Staycations At Western House Hotel Handicap.

Cambridgeshire Meeting

Newmarket racecourse‘s Cambridgeshire meeting begins this Thursday, with 1,000 racegoers per day permitted inside what is the vast expanse of the Rowley Mile.

Update from Newmarket Racecourse following new government guidelines

“Following guidance that the Government’s programme of spectator pilots has been postponed, the Cambridgeshire Meeting will take place at the Rowley Mile 24th to 26th September as a behind closed doors fixture.

This will be limited to participants, racehorse owners and essential raceday personnel observing the existing strict health and safety protocols that have been in place across British Racing since the sport resumed without spectators on 1st June.

Thursday’s feature races include the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes and the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes.”

Form students will be keeping a keen eye on Friday’s Rockfel Stakes which regularly provides us with plenty of clues for next year’s 1,000 Guineas.

The Group 2 Shadwell Joel Stakes and the Group 3 Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes will be competitive heats too.

Supporting Saturday’s main event – the 35 runner Cambridgeshire Handicap (3.35pm), are three of the best two-year-old races of the season. The Group 2 Royal Lodge, Group 1 Cheveley Park and Group 1 Middle Park will inevitably set the scene and shape the betting markets for next year’s 1000 and 2000 Guineas.

Those of you considering an early ante-post wager may want to consider Sir Busker (each way) at 12/1 with sponsors bet365* who are offering 5-places in the Cambridgeshire.

William Knight’s Royal Hunt Cup winner has been running well all season and can put up another bold show on Saturday afternoon.

* Betting odds quoted were correct at the time of writing