THE 2020 RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS AS THE GOVERNMENT INTRODUCE NEW LAWS TO BAN SOCIAL GATHERINGS.
The Jockey Club said “it is no longer appropriate to stage the event” after the UK government advised against mass gatherings.
It said that running the race behind closed doors at Aintree was “no longer a viable consideration”.
“Public health must come first,” said Sandy Dudgeon, senior steward of The Jockey Club.
“We were working on a plan to stage the Grand National behind closed doors given its importance to the racing industry and beyond, but following the new government measures confirmed this evening to help to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, this is not a viable option.
“I know this is hugely disappointing news for the many people who work in our sport and the many millions who were looking forward to this year’s event, but very sadly these are exceptional times and this is the responsible thing to do.”
The world-famous steeplechase attracts a worldwide audience of about 500m people from around the world.
The biggest betting event on the racing calendar, this year’s race – the culmination of three days of racing on Merseyside – had been due to see Tiger Roll bid to join Red Rum as the only three-time winner. Senior Jockey Club steward Sandy Dudgeon said: ‘The Randox Health Grand National Festival was just three weeks away, and it’s very clear to us it will not be possible for the event to take place. Public health must come first.
More than 1,500 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, but the actual number of cases is estimated to be between 35,000 and 50,000.