Racing globally is an almost daily changing feast, with two significant things happening in the sport overnight.
Firstly, both Ireland and Canada have decided to follow the Australian lead and continue racing. With all English and French tracks closing, the decision by Ireland to remain active surprised many.
And it’s business as usual at Woodbine.
Although it’s not as usual Per Say. Strict bio measures are in force there. For instance, no owners are allowed on track and every jockey, trainer, stable hand et al who are considered essential personnel, MUST undergo a temperature check upon arrival at the track. These temps are recorded and any movement upwards, they can’t get through the gates.
Woodbine is at the moment anticipating its season will start on time in mid April. But behind closed doors. And there are no complaints from anyone.
As for Irish racing, many in the sport aren’t as happy that the Horse Racing Ireland Board said to keep going.
“This decision is motivated by the need to maintain employment and incomes for people working in the industry, and on the basis of being able to achieve and maintain all HSE advice and instructions.
“These are unprecedented and sombre times and we are seeking the best ways to support the racing community and industry throughout what lies ahead. Health and welfare of employees and industry participants is the prime consideration and within that context, we have introduced protocols which can allow racing to continue and thousands of families who rely on the sector to maintain a livelihood. This will be kept under review on a daily basis and we are also planning measures for reprogramming fixtures as it becomes required.”
This will continue.
The other major happening of note comes for the U.S. With little or no sporting content to provide for the American public, the television giant NBC has decided to cover what is left of horse racing in the U.S on free-to-air TV.
At prime time they will simulcast horse racing and will take the industry’s TVG feed. This would be like Channels 7, 9 and 10 showing racing live free-to-air.
Oh, wait we do. That’s why Aussie racing is the best in the world.
Anyway, there are some tracks that remain open in the U.S. at the moment.
So this is a MASSIVE boost for the sport – providing no deaths occur.