One of the Sports still going in the US is Horse Racing. However, all UK horse racing is currently postponed due to COVID-19 however talks are underway to look at a date to resume action.
We’re currently at the climax of the jump season in the UK and it’s a huge shame that the Grand National festival will be postponed which is meant to take place this weekend. The other main festival which is coming up is the Punchestown Festival in Ireland which is meant to take place from 28th April to 2nd May and there is still hope that this could go ahead, but it will be on government advice as to whether it can take place.
The new flat racing season is due to get underway in April and this is on hold until government advice however there is hope that towards the end of April Racing can get back underway behind closed doors, so we will have to wait until the middle of April for an update on this.
Virtual Grand National – Sat 4 May 2020
As this Saturday was meant to be the real Grand National, on UK TV there will be a ‘virtual’ Grand National shown. The producers of the race will be using the CGI technology and algorithms to deliver the virtual race using the 40 runners that had been scheduled to run in the race.
The virtual race isn’t a new thing that is created due to the main race being cancelled. It is an annual event which usually takes place on the Friday before the actual race. However, given this year’s circumstances, much more interest is being paid to it than ever before. Similar to how the Grand National itself was set to be broadcast, the virtual race will be screened on TV.
It will be broadcast by ITV at 5pm (BST) on Saturday, April 4 and punters will be able to bet on the virtual ‘Grand National’ as UK sportsbooks have said they will be taking bets, however many have said any winnings they make on the race will be given to charity and suspect that they will have a stake limit on the race as well.
At this time, it is worth looking at the flat season and the biggest race which will hopefully take place this year.
The Investec Epsom Derby – Planned for June 2020
The Investec Epsom Derby is one of the biggest flat races in the world and runs at Epsom Downs on the outskirts of London. The race is iconic in British horse racing history as one of the oldest horse races ever run.
With a huge tradition and royalty in attendance every year, this race captures the nation in a different way to The Grand National, but the quality of the race is up there with other top flat races in the world.
The horse everyone is looking out for in the race this year is Pinatubo. With a 100% record so far including a win at Epsom last year in the Woodcote Stakes over 6 furlongs, Pinatubo has the makings of a Derby winner.
After that win the horse won at Glorious Goodwood in August of last year winning the vintage stakes over 7 furlongs, so going up in distance. Most recently Pinatubo won the Dewhurst stakes well at Newmarket in October and we are eagerly anticipating the first run of the upcoming flat season. Pinatubo is a horse to seriously consider following an outstanding first year of runs and 2020 looks a very bright year for the horse.
The Investec Oaks – Planned for June 2020
The Investec Epsom Oaks is a race for three year old fillies. To explicitly explain the term ‘filly’ this is a female horse and a filly in most cases is a female horse under four years old. The race is the 2nd oldest of the main classic ‘main’ races in the flat season and occurs the day before the Derby at Epsom.
Run over one mile, four furlongs and six yards, this race is highly competitive and this year should be no different. Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have trained the last six winners with each trainer winning three races.
At this early stage Quadrilateral is the early favourite, but many horses could well mount a challenge.