Goodwood racecourse has cancelled its three Friday night music events planned for June this year

Goodwood Racecourse has announced that, following guidance from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), it is not able to run Its Three Friday Nights events as planned in 2020.

Sigma performing at a previous Goodwood Friday event Photo: Matt Ankers

In a statement, Goodwood said: “We are however pleased to announce that Sub Focus will now play on Friday 28 August, during our Bank Holiday Weekend fixture and Carl Cox is confirmed to play at next year’s Three Friday Nights, on  June 4 2021. ”

French racing restart behind closed doors

RACING in France is set to resume on Monday behind closed doors as a restart to action in Britain edges nearer.

The sport has been suspended in both jurisdictions since March 17 but police have given permission for racing to take place at Paris Longchamp track.

Edouard de Rothschild, president of governing body France Galop, has said the authorisation was “very good news”.

British racing is planning for a resumption this month, including 16 Group races on successive weekends.

British Horse Racing Authority has said that action can start within a week of any go-ahead from the government.

Horse racing action could resume in Britain
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Racing has continued without spectators, and with social-distancing protocols, at some tracks in the United States, Australia and Hong Kong.

Last year’s French Derby winner Sottsass is set to run in Paris for the first time since finishing third behind Waldgeist and Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

The unbeaten Victor Ludorum, favourite for the French 2,000 Guineas, could be among other runners at the meeting.

“We have had some strong support from the ministers in charge of racing – the ministers for finance and agriculture so it was more a question of local areas allowing us to proceed,” said France Galop chief executive Olivier Delloye.

“We have explained in close detail how we will race behind closed doors and we have had positive feedback from them.”

Nick Gifford Racing continues fine tradition of training from Downs Stables at Findon

NICK GIFFORD is a successful trainer, based at historic Downs Stables, Findon, where his father, champion jockey, Josh Gifford, trained before him.

There are top class facilities for his string, and he has a great team working with him, including his wife, Ruth.


Pictured above: National Hunt trainer Nick Gifford receiving an award after one of his racehorses, Brandon Thomas won a key race at Plumpton.

Nick’s wife , Ruth, is an integral part of the team at the historic Downs Stables, where they both ride out and also host events there.

For full details about this training operation see: https://www.nickgiffordracing.co.uk/

Nick Gifford Racing

Address: The Downs Stables, Stable Lane, Findon, West Sussex, BN14 0RR

No racing at Plumpton until September 20

Racing action will not return to Plumpton until September. Photo: Jeannie Knight

   
FOLLOWING on from the continued lockdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and the uncertainty this brings for the resumption of racing, the BHA (which regulates racing) has decided that no jump racing will take place until July 1, at the earliest.

This unfortunately brings an early close to the 2019/20 season at racecourses, including the popular jump meetings at Plumpton.
 
A spokesman for Plumpton said: “Whilst this has cut our season short by five meetings, we appreciate there are bigger matters to contend with other than racing.

“So, whilst of course disappointed, we pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS Staff, emergency workers, delivery drivers, supermarket and shop workers and the continued list of essential staff that are propping us all up at the moment.
 

“The Easter Weekend contains our two biggest days of racing and crowds, but this year we will all have had to celebrate slightly differently and very much at home.

Whatever you do, Plumpton hopes you have a good weekend and please do it safely – we very much look forward to welcoming you back for the 2020/21 season at Plumpton which begins on Sunday September 20.
 
In the meantime, stay safe and well . Thank you for the support in 2019/20!
 
Best Wishes,
 
The Plumpton Team
 
 

Virtual Grand National winner

Potters Corner won the televised Virtual Grand National yesterday after the cancellation of the big race itself because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sent off at 18-1, Potters Corner, winner of the Welsh National and the Midlands National, beat runner-up Walk In The Mill (16-1) in the computer-simulated race, with Any Second Now (10-1) third.

This idea of simulating the big race filled a huge gap after the 173rd running of the big race was cancelled, along with the remainder of racing.

The outcome of the simulated race was a big disappointment for fans of Tiger Roll, the horse trained by Gordon Elliot, which had been due to seek an unprecedented third win in the race on Saturday before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tiger Roll in action Photo: John Simpsom

This was the first time that a simulated race had been screened on television and it was shown at 5.15pm, the time the normal race should have started.

This emergency measure certainly filled the enormous gap left by the cancellation of the big race itself- and was an entertaining success with many viewers.

Racing consultation on use of whip put on hold

The consultation on British racing’s whip rules and penalties, which was part of the recommendations made in the Horse Welfare Board’s landmark five-year strategy, has been temporarily postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Use of whip consultation temporarily postponed Photo: John Simpson

The British Horse Association has made the request as the consultation would have required large input from senior officials who are now working hard to deliver an operation plan for racing to deal with the current crisis.

The HWB’s independent chair Barry Johnson said the body had given its backing to the BHA’s request.

Johnson said: “The Horse Welfare Board fully supported the BHA’s request to postpone the planned consultation on the whip and will work with the BHA, at an appropriate time, to agree a new timetable. 

“We are keen to ensure that any consultation on the whip is done thoroughly and well, with maximum involvement from people in the sport, which would be enormously challenging in the current circumstances. 

“This postponement will allow British racing to focus on more immediate concerns relating to the welfare of people and horses. The Horse Welfare Board will support these efforts in any possible way and applauds the exceptional work that thousands of people in the industry are continuing to do on a daily basis, in caring for future, current and retired racehorses.”


Friday nights at Goodwood 2020

Goodwood Racecourse’s electric Three Friday Nights presented by NOW TV is scheduled for the tenth year with its biggest names yet taking to the stage throughout June 2020- subject to Coronovirus having been eliminated.

The series begins on June 5 with Ibiza legend, house and techno veteran, Carl Cox. Followed on the June 12 by Guilford-born drum and base superpower Sub-Focus, before Mike Skinner spins the ultimate crescendo on the 19 June.

Expect high energy and good vibes from “The King of Ibiza” Carl Cox. In a career spanning five decades and four albums, Cox is perhaps known best for his unprecedented fifteen-year residency at the legendary Space Ibiza. He was a key part of Britain’s exploding rave scene in the late eighties and early nineties and has been a prolific producer ever since.

The boss of record label Intec Digital and owner of his own motorsport brand, Cox can often be found revving an engine at Goodwood Motor Circuit, but promises to bring a very different sort of noise to the racecourse.

Known as a maverick for mixing up familiar hard-hitting drum and bass with influences spanning all strains of dance music (from 80s synth to futuristic techno, dub-step, old-skool breakbeat, electro and rock) Sub Focus has had a profound influence on the landscape of the electronic scene. If the breadth of his hits is anything to go by – ranging from the heavy, super-charged “Rock-It” to the tear-jerking sound of “Tidal Wave,” it’s going to be memorable.

Back by popular demand is another pioneer and stalwart of the British music scene – Mike Skinner. Best known as the poetic lyricist and ingenious producer behind The Streets, Skinner is innovative with his work showcasing a fusion of sound.

His musical selections are as eclectic as his production capabilities, ranging from house to old-skool hip hop, via drum and bass bangers and peppered with his own, up to the minute remixes and classic tracks.

Three Friday Nights at Goodwood is known for being one of the most exciting series of events to take place on the South Coast, with DJ sets following an evening of horseracing. After the last race has been run and the sun sets, the parade ring transforms into a laser-lit dancefloor, and the atmosphere is ignited for three unforgettable nights.

Adult tickets start from £40, with Juniors (13-17) starting from £30. Hospitality packages start from £102. Tickets will be able to be purchased at Goodwood.com or by calling 01243 755055 subject to Coronovirus having cleared.

Coronavirus closes betting shops

No betting shops will be open in Britain for the foreseeable future after being included as part of the government’s shutdown of social and leisure life as it attempts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Betting shops were included alongside the likes of cafes, pubs, museums, leisure centres and cinemas that have been asked not to reopen on Saturday after expert advice outlined “more needs to be done in order to tackle the spread of infection,” which has claimed 184 lives in the United Kingdom.

The closures, which firms privately fear could last for up to two months, were announced alongside a fresh range of measures from chancellor Rishi Sunak, including, for the first time by a UK government, an offer to pay 80 per cent of wages for employees at any business who would otherwise have been laid off, up to £2,500 a month.

Rishi Sunak

As well as stepping in to help pay the wages of staff, business VAT payments were pushed back until June and access to the Universal Credit benefit was opened up to the self-employed with the lifting of the minimum income floor, meaning the self-employed will be paid the same as someone on Statutory Sick Pay.

Sunak, said: “This is unprecedented in the history of the British state. Combined with the previous announcement, our planned response is the most comprehensive in the world. 

“We need a collective national effort with a role for everyone to play. It’s on all of us.”

The actions to protect businesses and employees were welcomed by the BHA, which has been working alongside representative industry bodies in racing on a financial submission to the government for aid and help after cancelling all racing in Britain until at least the end of April because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement following the announcement, the BHA said: “The details that have been given so far will be analysed by senior executives, using the most recent information on the commercial revenues and employment generated by the racing industry. 

“A wide-ranging submission to government outlining the impact of the shutdown on racing and proposing areas for potential help is being adapted to respond to the chancellor’s announcement.”

Racing professionals also expressed their satisfaction with Sunak’s intervention to help businesses and employees. Group 1-winning trainer Michael Dods wrote on Twitter: “Still digesting details of the chancellor’s jobs retention plan but the government needed to act in a big way and, to be fair, that’s what it’s done. Hopefully, it could make all the difference to a lot of businesses, including those connected to the racing industry.”

The betting industry has been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 shutdown of sport, with shares in the likes of GVC Holdings, parent company of Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill and Flutter Entertainment, the group which contains Paddy Power and Betfair, falling significantly over the past two weeks.

In addition, betting shops were classed as not being eligible for the business rates relief Sunak had unveiled earlier in the week, something Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, believes should now be reconsidered due to the closures.

Dugher, a former Labour MP, wrote on Twitter: “Betting shops must close, rightly, because they are ‘leisure’ businesses, like clubs etc. Yet HM Treasury tells us that unlike all the other businesses on the list of those who must close, betting shops, casinos and bingo halls can’t access help with business rates. Time to rethink that?”

Prior to the government announcement, Paddy Power was the first layer to confirm it would be closing all its 350 betting shops in Britain from Friday night until the end of April.