Despite the announcement and subsequent closures across the country, racing is set to go ahead after it was clarified that it alongside elite sport can continue with strict testing regimes, as well as the implementation of established COVID safety protocols.

Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a third national lockdown was to be introduced with a series of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, including the closure of schools and universities.

Racing is due to continue behind closed doors, with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) expressing its confidence in its ability to maintain strict safety measures tweeting: “Following this evening’s broadcast, we can confirm that racing will continue behind closed doors during the upcoming national lockdown. 

“Attendance will be limited to those essential to the staging of fixtures and strict adherence to British racing’s COVID-19 protocols will continue to be required for all who attend.”

Still scheduled to go ahead in April of this year, Sir AP McCoy and Nick Luck look ahead to the Grand National at Aintree for William Hill Racing.

The video is age-restricted but can be viewed on YouTube

Last year’s 2020 Randox Health Grand National Festival was cancelled due to Coronavirus, this was the first time the event had been cancelled since WW2. McCoy commented: “It was a shame obviously missing out with Tiger Roll going for a third Grand National. The stories of Grand Nationals in the past, when I was a kid growing up, you think of the film ‘Champions’ about Bob Champion and Aldaniti, who won the Grand National.” 

Back at Aintree once again for the 2021 festival McCoy continued: “Liverpool itself is a special place. The setting of Aintree, the history that it has had, to take part in the Grand National, I thought for a long time was a great thing, but it’s all about winning it, and if you’re lucky enough to win it, as I said, it has been life-changing for a lot of jockeys who have done that.”

The 20-time Champion Jockey spoke on his win of the race back in 2010 stating that: “It was a game changer because it was the most fulfilling feeling I got at the end of a horse race, because of the place it is. You’ve only got to look around you and how difficult it is to win the Grand National, from the jockey’s point of view. As a jump jockey, it’s what all the young jockeys want to do – you want to win a Grand National.”

UK racing continues as new lockdowns are imposed