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Spectators back at Haydock, Kempton, Lingfield and Ludlow next week

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/27/2020 Marcus Townend for the Daily Mail
a group of people riding on the back of a horse: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Spectators will return to English racecourses next Wednesday after Haydock, Kempton, Lingfield and Ludlow confirmed their intention to take advantage of the relaxation of Government Covid-19 restrictions.

The four tracks — all in Tier 2 areas — can welcome up to 2,000 spectators. Priority will be given to owners and racecourse annual members but tickets are expected to go on sale. 

None of the country's 51 courses lie in Tier 1 but the Tier 2 rules will also now allow a small number at Sandown's Tingle Creek Chase meeting next weekend, Cheltenham's International Hurdle fixture next month and Kempton's King George VI Chase two-day fixture over Christmas.

a person riding a horse in front of a building: Haydock among four tracks — all in Tier 2 areas — which can welcome up to 2,000 spectators © Provided by Daily Mail Haydock among four tracks — all in Tier 2 areas — which can welcome up to 2,000 spectators

Welcoming the news, Simon Sherwood, manager and clerk of the course at Ludlow said: 'It's good news that the door is ajar if not fully open.

'We have 600 members and will go down a cautious route. Realistically the numbers could be 750 to 800 for the first meeting but we would hope to have more at our meeting nearer Christmas. A crowd will bring back an atmosphere. It's a step in the right direction but it is not a panacea.'

Strict spectator rules will apply. All tickets must be bought in advance and anyone living in Tier 3 will not be able to make a purchase.

Face coverings will have to be worn unless eating or drinking.

Courses in Tier 3 which must continue to race behind closed doors include Doncaster, Hexham, Leicester, Market Rasen, Newcastle, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Warwick, Wetherby and Wolverhampton.

Courses in Scotland and Wales, which are under the jurisdiction of the devolved governments, also remain behind closed doors.

Clan Des Obeaux sustained a nasty cut on his heel in last Saturday's Betfair Chase but it should not disrupt his bid for a third win in the King George VI Chase.

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