Warwick looking forward to staging latest racing crowd pilot

Warwick officials have spoken of the “massive undertaking” in preparation for the crowd pilot at Monday’s meeting.

The jumps track will welcome 500 people as part of a Government-backed trial event. Since racing resumed on June 1 following the coronavirus shutdown in mid-March, only Doncaster has been able to allow racegoers in – but that just lasted one day after the local public health authority pulled the plug due to an increase in Covid-19 cases.

“It’s been an incredible challenge to get this event up and running,” racecourse manager Andre Klein told Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday programme.

“It has been a huge challenge, a massive undertaking. We went into it quite naive not knowing exactly what was going to be required. After 20 odd years of managing racecourses around the world, this is unique and is probably the most fascinating one I’ve ever tried to stage and it’s only for 500 people.”

Klein explained no one will be allowed into the course if they live in an area that is under local restrictions.

“We’ve got 150 of our members coming. Warwick has got more members than that and we’ve had to go back to a significant percentage of those in the last 24 hours and tell them they can’t come as they are domicile to an area that is under a local lockdown,” he said.

“We’ve had to do the same with 124 hospitality guests. Most of those are returning customers so they didn’t necessarily go on public sale for hospitality. We had a bit of warning so they have had to change guest lists.

“There is nothing on sale for the general public. When we went into the process of developing the pilot plan it was always our hope we would get some general public here. But it became increasingly apparent we wouldn’t get a green light of any sorts if we just fought that general admission battle for much longer with public health authorities here.”

A larger-scale pilot is planned for later in the week at the three days of Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting.

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