Grand National cancelled due to virus

Aintree’s Grand National Festival has been cancelled and will not take place from April 2-4 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement from Jockey Club Racecourses read: “Following the Government’s new public health guidance regarding avoiding social contact and stopping non-essential travel, and its statement that emergency services are withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings from tomorrow, the Jockey Club has decided that it is no longer appropriate to stage the event.

“Jockey Club Racecourses, which runs Aintree and several of the UK’s leading racecourses, had been assessing the feasibility of running the world’s most famous steeplechase behind closed doors with minimal staff on site, but the latest government information on the measures needed to contain the virus have led it to believe this is no longer a viable consideration.”

Renowned as the world’s greatest steeplechase and the biggest betting event on the racing calendar, this year’s race had been due to see Tiger Roll bid to join Red Rum as the only three-timer winner.