Horseracing returns to Uttoxeter - but its behind closed doors

JUMPS racing returns to Uttoxeter today (Monday, July 6) after a nearly four-months in the grip of lockdown.

There is a generous entry of runners for the eight-race card at the Wood Lane course, after National Hunt Racing marked its return with a fixture at Southwell last week.

The last meeting staged at the Uttoxeter course before Covid-19 struck was the Midlands Grand National fixture on Saturday, March 14.

The feature race on the card was won by the Paul Nicholls-trained Truckers Lodge under young jockey Lorcan Williams in front of a huge crowd.

However, there will be no spectators at this afternoon's meeting, which is being staged behind closed doors.

This is because of strict measures introduced by Government to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

Spectators are locked out at all race meetings until further notice. All necessary people attending fixtures (course workers, travelling stables staff etc) have to undergo health screening prior to entry.

The Uttoxeter team travelled to a recent race meeting at Wolverhampton to witness how the venue operated behind closed doors with social distancing regulations in place.

Today's meeting at Uttoxeter, which is sponsored by Potteries-based bookmaker bet365, gets underway at 12.55 with a 1m 7f novice hurdle.

Leading trainer Paul Nicholls and champion jockey Richard Johnson will both be in attendance.


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