Thursday, May 19, 2022
EntertainmentMusselburgh Racecourse receives welcome boost as Covid-19 restrictions set to ease

Musselburgh Racecourse receives welcome boost as Covid-19 restrictions set to ease

Musselburgh Racecourse’s meeting of the season has received a welcome boost as Covid-19 hospitality restrictions are due to be relaxed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that from 24 January, licensed premises and hospitality venues will no longer be restricted to table service and one metre social distancing.

This means that the East Lothian course’s bet365 Scottish Festival Trials weekend on 5 and 6 February can go ahead as normal.

The East Lothian’s bet365 Scottish Festivals Trial will go ahead as normal.
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash.

Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth, said that the development would be welcomed by all five Scottish racecourses which have been operating under strict Covid-19 constraints.

Farnsworth commented: “This is excellent news, not just for Musselburgh but for the Scottish racing industry as a whole.

“We fully understood the need for caution at large sporting events, but now the situation has changed significantly, we welcome the chance to offer the full racing and entertainment packages on which our race meetings depend, and which allows us to deliver to visitors the best experience we can.”

Addressing Parliament yesterday afternoon, Sturgeon announced an end to physical social distancing from 24 January as well as an end to restrictions on indoor gatherings.

However, the First Minister also set out a reminder to be cautious as restrictions relax: “To minimise the risk of getting the virus, it would be sensible for all of us to remain cautious in our social interactions at this stage.”

The First Minister also stated that individuals should continue carrying out lateral flow tests before attending events, with mask wearing still mandatory in public event settings.

Farnsworth continued: “The bet365 Scottish Festival Trials weekend is one of the most important fixtures on the Scottish jumps racing calendar and attracts high quality entries from the UK and Ireland, with many horses being trialled for a potential tilt at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals.

“The pedigree of the horses racing up Musselburgh’s final straight is all important, but equally vital is a large and enthusiastic crowd who contribute to the electric atmosphere at big meetings.

“Now that we have the green light to open up all our facilities and to provide our well-established five-star experience, we can look forward to a fantastic weekend of premier racing, which I hope sets the tone for the rest of the jumps season and into our Flat meetings in the summer.”

With more than £260,000 in prize money over the weekend festival, the Saturday meeting includes the £40,000 feature race the bet365 Edinburgh National, while the Sunday meeting includes three £25,000 races, including the bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial.

Advance Adult Tickets are discounted by £5 (normal admission £30) until midnight on 4 February and race goers are advised to book in advance.

 

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