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Racing in Ireland has been cancelled for at least a month along with all other sports during the coronavirus crisis.

The Flat season got underway earlier this week with the public locked out but the Irish government said it would be off until at least April 19.

Racing in Britain was suspended from last Wednesday, with no action anticipated before May 1 at the earliest.

Horse Racing Ireland confirmed a halt to action, with key figures set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the development.

“Horse Racing Ireland confirm that racing will cease in Ireland as of midnight tonight as per the latest Government guidelines on Covid-19,” an HRI statement said.

Prime minister Leo Varadkar also announced all betting shops have also been closed and everyone has been urged to stay at home.

Among the meetings affected is the Irish Grand National which was scheduled for the Easter weekend.

Racing was held at Clonmel on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT), and Dundalk had been due to run a meeting the following day.

“If it’s three or four weeks and we get back, then it won’t be too bad. Everyone has to do their job and if we get back after a month it won’t be the end of the world,” Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott said.

“Everybody is going to have to tighten up and hopefully we’ll get through it OK.

“The racecourses have been doing a very good job, but unfortunately that’s just the way that things are and we have to do the best by everyone.”

 
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