The high-profile meetings at Ayr and Newbury scheduled for Saturday have been switched to the following afternoon as a mark of respect for the funeral ceremony of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
It was announced on Friday the Duke of Edinburgh had died at the age of 99, with his funeral to take place at Windsor Castle next weekend at 3pm. A national minute’s silence will be observed as the ceremonial royal funeral begins.
Sporting bodies have been in discussions regarding plans for next Saturday’s fixtures, with the Football League announcing that matches scheduled to begin at 3pm will be rearranged.
The British Horseracing Authority has now confirmed no racing will take place in Great Britain between 2.45pm and 4.15pm – and as a result, the Coral Scottish Grand National fixture at Ayr and the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials meeting at Newbury will now be held on Sunday.
Saturday’s meetings at Bangor, Thirsk, Brighton and Nottingham will go ahead but with different start times to ensure races do not clash with the ceremony. Start times will be announced on Monday.
The BHA said in a statement: “British racing will continue to appropriately reflect the period of national mourning at fixtures through to Saturday, April 17, including wearing of black armbands and flags flying at half-mast.”
The sponsors of the Scottish National feel the switch “is definitely the right thing to do”.
it would feel entirely inappropriate to stage the race next Saturday under the circumstances.
“This is definitely the right thing to do out of respect for the occasion and the Royal family, and we would like to commend the BHA and the various stakeholders for the speed and flexibility they’ve shown in making this decision,” said Simon Clare, Ladbrokes Coral PR director.
“Scottish Grand National day is a day of celebration of one of the sport’s most prestigious races and it would feel entirely inappropriate to stage the race next Saturday under the circumstances.
“The fact we are racing behind closed doors means it is much easier to shift a big meeting back a day than in a normal year, and we are very appreciative of ITV’s support in agreeing to broadcast the meeting on Sunday.”