So, what’s in store for horse racing in the coming year? Well, the usuals, of course. This includes the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National, the Epsom Derby Festival, the Royal Ascot, and more.
However, as the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic, the horse racing world will still be doing its best to keep riders, officials, and fans safe. If you already can’t wait for the New Year’s horse racing activities, here are a few things that are in store in 2021.
- Reduced prize money.
With little or no one to buy racecourse tickets and punters not physically present to place wagers with bookies, there’s no doubt revenue will take some of the heat. This situation will also affect the usual mouth-watering prize money since there’ll be fewer fixtures or even fewer horses and jockeys.
- The usual number of riders may reduce.
It’s also possible that enforcement of social distance will also apply to horses and their jockeys. Instead of the usual close arrangement of riders, there will be wider space between riders. This condition will naturally translate to fewer horses on the track.
Apart from reducing the possibility of infection, spacing-out riders and their horses will undoubtedly reduce accidents that may occur from collisions. In order to keep racecourse situations even safer, there’ll also be a restriction policy to prevent anyone from attending more than a day’s activity. Until everything returns to normal or perhaps, the medical world finds a cure, this scenario might be our new norm.
- No or very few spectators.
With the current news on a new strain of coronavirus hitting the airwaves, the mode of operation at racecourses will likely be “playing it safe.” Based on medical professionals’ advice, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) may not run an open-air horse race event.
The idea is to ensure minimal gathering and, of course, social distancing. It’s most likely fans will be seeing many of the races from their electronic screens to be on the safe side. Only jockeys, medical team, media team, and staff will likely have access to the racecourses. While all of these may be a bummer for fans who prefer to see the action live, sports betting fans shouldn’t have any issues placing their wagers from the comfort of their homes.
- Live-streaming will become a necessity.
Whether we have a virus on the loose or not, live streaming is a must. It’s not like the racecourses can contain the entire horse racing fans if we somehow decide to show up at the venue. While that’s not even realistic, it also makes live streaming a necessity. Thanks to 21st-century technology, there shouldn’t be a problem with broadcasting or transmitting races.
- Punters may not be allowed on the racecourse.
As mentioned earlier, with the new “stay safe” mantra, bookies and punters may not be allowed into the racecourse. Therefore, all bettings will have to go online. However, sports betting that can’t see the game may find it difficult to place bets since the usual practice is to read information charts and check horses’ information before backing the horse with money.