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Royal Ascot awaits government decisionsPosted on Wednesday 8th April 2020 @ 09.56

There is the prospect of Royal Ascot taking place this summer, but it would be behind closed doors and only if health chiefs agree.

The world-renowned meeting is due to run from Tuesday June 16 to Saturday June 20, but the coronavirus pandemic has put that in doubt although course officials are still hopeful that it may go ahead, albeit without any spectators.

A number of this summer's sporting events have already fallen to the virus, with the likes of the Open Championship golf and Wimbledon tennis tournament cancelled, with the country still on lockdown.

But Ascot chief executive Guy Henderson has issued a statement outlining plans for the track to stage the famous meeting behind closed doors, but that will depend on government decisions going forward.

Henderson said: "It may prove possible to run the Royal Ascot races behind closed doors, dependent on government and public health policy, and the approval of the BHA for us to restart racing.

"The pandemic will have a significant financial impact on our business in 2020, along with so many others. Nevertheless, Ascot will come through this crisis and we look forward to welcoming racegoers back when it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, our thoughts are with all those grieving and suffering as a result of Covid-19."

Director of Racing Nick Smith has also warned that the recent landscape is likely to "significantly impact prize-money" but insists that despite the picture not being bright, Ascot can "move forward and come through this period".

Article Posted on Wednesday 8th April 2020 @ 09.56

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