The coronavirus has caused the nations of Ireland and Canada to halt racing as the world continues to come to grips with the continuing outbreak of COVID-19.
Ireland racing has been halted for at least a month along with all other sports during the coronavirus crisis. Although the nation’s flat race season got underway this week behind closed doors, the Irish government pulled rank, pausing racing until at least April 19.
Similarly, Canada implemented a no-risk policy to Thoroughbred racing calling on Woodbine to halt racing season opener. In the case of Canadian racing, the sport is partially funded by the Canadian Government which is proposing a return to racing on April 18.
Horses are allowed to stay in the backstretch stabling area but are not permitted to train on the main tracks after it was announced yesterday that the start date for this year’s Woodbine season would now be delayed.
It means Australia remains one of the last nations available to global punters with the Autumn Carnival in both Sydney and Melbourne underway.
Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, said in a Government briefing in Dublin on Tuesday evening that “all sporting events are canceled, including those being held behind closed doors,” of which Ireland racing is on halt.
The Irish Grand National meeting, which was due to take center stage at Fairyhouse race track on Easter weekend between April 11-13, is one of the key fixtures which will be lost.
No new start date has been issued at the time of writing.