Doncaster crowds pilot cut short as the last three days of the St Leger Festival will be held behind closed doors

RACING will go back behind closed doors at Doncaster from tomorrow in a big blow to the sport.

Crowds made a welcome return on the opening day of the St Leger Festival on Wednesday as part of pilot scheme for sporting events.

But with coronavirus cases on the rise, the course have been instructed to cut the pilot event short with the gates set to be closed to racegoers once again from tomorrow.

Mark Spincer, managing director of Arena Racing Company Racing Division, said: “We have had confirmation this afternoon from the local authority that we will not be able to admit a crowd to the final three days of the St Leger Festival.

"The race meeting will continue on a ‘behind closed doors’ basis, as per all other race meetings currently taking place in Britain.

"This pilot event represents a hugely important step not just for our business but for the whole of British racing as well as the sports and hospitality industries as a whole.

"We do, of course, fully understand and respect the decision and will be contacting all of our customers booked for the remaining three days as a matter of urgency.

"We were pleased to work closely with Doncaster Council to set up this pilot event in the manner that we had but matters beyond anyone’s control, and the data that regarding local rates that have come to light today, mean we will not be able to welcome a crowd from Thursday onwards.

"We would, of course, like to thank all of our customers for their support in the run up to this event as well as our staff who have done a monumental job in preparing the site.”

More to follow…

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