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Cheltenham Festival

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foxy
25 Feb 20 10:44
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Date Joined: 26 Dec 00
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Anybody who gets it from today will have to miss Cheltenham

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Replies: 173
By:
Forty
When: 25 Feb 20 10:56
unless Cheltenham is abandoned

Forty
By:
Cash Is King
When: 25 Feb 20 11:56
I wouldn’t wish to be overly pessimistic but I think there must be a good chance that the Festival meeting will not go ahead because of fears over the spreading of the Corona virus.
By:
Hanx
When: 25 Feb 20 12:01
Things would have to get a hell of a lot worse in the UK for major meetings of people (sporting events, concerts....train, ferry, internal air journeys?) to be closed down.

In this scenario, much as I love the Festival, I suggest that collectively we would have a lot more to concern us than even Faugheen winning as a 12-y-o.
By:
John.W.Henry.
When: 25 Feb 20 13:15
Initially they should shut down all of the places that have zero use to us yet many mix within the corridors.


Lets start with the House of commons and the house of lords .... As much use as the pathetic face masks are that the corona collecting coach drivers do not bother with..

ffs the world has gone stir cr4zy Crazy
By:
Mister Westsound
When: 25 Feb 20 13:33
Forget Envoi, TR and the bumper fav. Biggest certainty of the festival is Paddy Power face masks. You read it here first !
By:
John.W.Henry.
When: 25 Feb 20 13:38
lol
By:
foxy
When: 25 Feb 20 15:30
Unfortunately I think cash is king might not be to far out if things got worse over the next 10 days or so,that said I do have a lot of confidence in those who are looking after us.
By:
ENGLANDBARNES1
When: 25 Feb 20 19:20
Pauling 9% strikerate at Cheltenham.
By:
jackdaws
When: 25 Feb 20 21:31
Say theres a big chance it will be cancelled.
By:
jackdaws
When: 25 Feb 20 21:31
Say theres a big chance it will be cancelled.
By:
TimmyRiggins
When: 25 Feb 20 22:09
Say there's a big chance it won't.
By:
irish_guy_13
When: 25 Feb 20 22:51
If cheltenham is cancelled , will all losing antepost bets be refunded?? Hopefully yes to refunds.


Besides that , would it be the end of the world if the horses were allowed to run and no crowd there??

Owners  , trainers, jockeys , stable staff, small course staff and press  and everyone  else gets to watch on the television.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Feb 20 06:57
would be a complete cancellation i would imagine,  a postponement would be more difficult  and harder to implement imo,hopefully it wont get to that .
By:
ENGLANDBARNES1
When: 26 Feb 20 07:45
Betfair have a market on the meeting going ahead or not, 1/3 yes last night. Bigger than I expected. :(
By:
irishone
When: 26 Feb 20 08:13
Refund on bets ! What about the flights and the hotel ?
By:
foxy
When: 26 Feb 20 10:05
Foyleswar

There is a contingency plan in place to run the fixture at a later date but at the moment it’s full speed ahead for March 10 th although the government will have the final say.
By:
Cash Is King
When: 26 Feb 20 10:43
From the Racing Post:

Industry group set up to ensure racing is prepared for coronavirus

The potential of a threat to racing from coronavirus has sparked the creation of a special group to ensure the sport is at the maximum state of readiness with the Cheltenham Festival 13 days away.
While specific contingency plans for racing’s biggest and most lucrative event are yet to be made, a racing industry steering group comprised of representatives from the BHA, Racecourse Association and horsemen is considering the implications on the sport of the coronavirus outbreak.
The virus has spread from China with significant outbreaks in South Korea, Iran and Italy, where 11 have died and several towns are on lockdown. Scotland women's Six Nations match in Italy last Sunday was cancelled and four Serie A games are set to be played behind closed doors this weekend.
Whether a similar outbreak in Britain could lead to the postponement or cancellation of sporting events has yet to be determined, but Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, on Tuesday said the NHS would implement similar tactics to those used in Italy if necessary.
She said: "If we do have a cluster, as has happened in Italy, then we move into delaying the spread.
"Delaying the spread would mean some of the measures that have happened already in Italy – stopping people coming together in large groups so that one or a few individuals do not spread to many, many more around them."
The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday it was too early to call the outbreak a pandemic but countries should be "in a phase of preparedness".
The virus originated in China and causes respiratory disease covid-19 which has led to more than 2,000 deaths in that country. Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in around 30 other countries with more than 20 deaths.
The threat of coronavirus was discussed at Monday’s annual meeting between the BHA and Cheltenham ahead of next month's festival, which more than a quarter of a million people from around the world are set to attend.

Racing's tripartite group has already met and has agreed to follow government guidance around preventing the spread of the virus. As a first measure that guidance has been shared around the racing industry.
The steering group will work with the government but does not see a need to develop a policy regarding abandonment of fixtures at this time.
In theory if fixtures are cancelled or abandoned then there is the possibility to restage them at a later date, but there are no specific contingency plans in place for any fixtures at this time, including Cheltenham.
RCA racecourse services director Caroline Davies said: "A tripartite group has been set up and we're taking our lead from the government, being responsible business and employers."
For the second day running share prices in some betting companies reflected a slump in global stock markets due to fears the virus may cause economic damage.
The FTSE 100 Index hit a one-year closing low and William Hill shares ended down 5.1 per cent. Shares in GVC holdings, owners of Ladbrokes and Coral, fell by 1.6 per cent.
Shares in Flutter Entertainment, which has Paddy Power and Betfair under its umbrella, dipped by 0.97 percent. The Stars Group, which owns Sky Bet, fell 2.78 per cent.
There has been no direct impact on racing in Britain or Ireland but the outbreak has affected meetings in south-east Asia.
Hong Kong has taken extreme measures to prevent the potential for spreading the virus at Happy Valley and Sha Tin race meetings, while betting shops in the territory were closed this month with immediate effect in a move to help combat the spread of the illness, and racing has now been halted in South Korea.
Last week's Asian Racing Conference in South Africa also had a depleted presence from the organisers' most heavily populated jurisdictions.
All delegates from mainland China who had registered for the event agreed to stay away and the HKJC severely restricted its delegation at the conference.
By:
Cash Is King
When: 26 Feb 20 10:43
https://www.racingpost.com/news/latest/industry-group-set-up-to-ensure-racing-is-prepared-for-coronavirus/424876
By:
morpteh mackem
When: 26 Feb 20 11:05
why not race behind closed door ? still be televised.
By:
duffy
When: 26 Feb 20 14:59
This is simple, there will be no consultations, if we get some sort of outbreak like they've had in Italy and there is thinking toward stopping mass congregations of people, the government will abandon it and that will be that.

As for arranging it at a later date, absolutely no chance, we don't even know how long the virus is going to be a problem for!!
By:
foxy
When: 26 Feb 20 15:54
I must admit I thought the possibility of a rearrangement was silly in many ways.
By:
duffy
When: 26 Feb 20 16:02
Agreed foxy, let's just say everything was alright again for Aintree (unlikely), what would we do, have Aintree before the festival, then what about the ground being fast by the time it can take place, whole thing would be a mess.

Wouldn't be just racing of course, all sporting events where large numbers of people congregate will be postponed, we may never finish the Premier League this season, (don't panic scousersShocked ) what about the Euro's, we might be kissing them goodbye too.

Anyway, let's not get ahead of ourselvesGrin
By:
foxy
When: 26 Feb 20 16:05
I hadn’t given the possibility of the premiere league season not been completed any thought whilst I desperately want the festival to go ahead there would be much comfort in that scenario Whoops
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Feb 20 16:23
not only aintree but punches as well . would be a logistical nightmare rearranging those fixtures imo .
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Feb 20 16:25
fingers crossed it dont get to that .
By:
morpteh mackem
When: 26 Feb 20 16:26
its half cocked though by the government, surely if it was that serious all flights to and from italy would be banned ? close country down, no travel in and out ( except for irish horses and their trainers/jockeys )
By:
GAZO
When: 26 Feb 20 17:21
trade and money will always be put before people
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Feb 20 17:27
true gazo !
By:
firstimevisor
When: 26 Feb 20 19:01
The chances of the festival being run with no crowd attendance is zero. There's a minor matter to consider of who and how its paid for...£20 million in gate receipts and several more millions from the corporate sector and catering companies certainly helps.
By:
foxy
When: 27 Feb 20 06:38
I would sooner it be off than ran behind closed doors.
By:
Cash Is King
When: 27 Feb 20 09:35
https://www.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-countdown/cheltenham-confident-festival-will-not-be-stopped-by-coronavirus/425011

Cheltenham confident festival will not be stopped by coronavirus

Cheltenham supremo Ian Renton is confident it will be business as usual at next month's Festival, despite the increasing concern that the coronavirus outbreak could reach pandemic scale as new cases continue to be reported across the globe.
The threat of coronavirus was discussed at Monday’s annual meeting between the BHA and Cheltenham as the track prepares for jump racing's marquee festival starting a week on Tuesday, which is set to be attended by more than a quarter of a million people.
A racing industry steering group, comprising representatives from the BHA, Racecourse Association and horsemen, has been established to consider the implications on the sport of the coronavirus outbreak and has agreed to follow government guidance on preventing the spread of the virus.
That guidance has been shared around the racing industry as a first measure, but a policy regarding abandonment of fixtures has not yet been deemed necessary and Renton is confident the four-day festival will proceed without restriction.
"The racing industry is in close touch with the government, who are doing a great job with measures to try to restrict any spread," said Renton on Wednesday.
"There have been only 13 cases in Britain and there is a need to be prepared, but we're looking forward to the festival, which is going ahead."
Betfair opened a 'Will Racing Go Ahead?' market on their exchange on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday evening 'no' was trading at around 3.25 (from an opening 4.1).
More than £60,000 had been traded on the market by 6pm on Wednesday, with 'yes' at around 1.4.
The BHA said on Wednesday there are mechanisms to allow major fixtures which are cancelled or abandoned for any reason to be restaged at a later date, but that the sport is in agreement there is as yet no need to develop a policy regarding the abandonment of any specific fixtures due to coronavirus.
A BHA spokesman added: “The industry’s steering group, comprising the Racecourse Association, BHA and horsemen, will continue to liaise with government and monitor the implications of coronavirus. Further information or guidance will be issued to the industry as and when appropriate.”
The virus, which spread from China and has gained a foothold in Europe following significant outbreaks in northern Italy, has already started to impact sporting events in Europe, with further disruption to Six Nations matches announced on Wednesday.
After Scotland women's Six Nations match in Italy was postponed at the weekend, Ireland's men's and women's games against Italy in Dublin on March 7 and 8 have now been postponed.
Ireland's chief medical officer said on Wednesday the decision to call for the postponement of the matches in Dublin had "not been made lightly".
There have been no confirmed reports of coronavirus in Ireland, with more than 90 suspected cases turning out to be negative.
Thousands of racing professionals and fans are set to travel to Cheltenham from Ireland next month but Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh stressed on Wednesday there has been no official instruction regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
He said: "We've had no direct contact with the Department of Health or the UK racing authorities. As far as we're concerned it's business as usual.
"We'll keep an eye on developments and work with the necessary authorities in relation to any Irish events. Anything that happens in the UK is a matter for authorities over there."
By:
HGS
When: 27 Feb 20 11:37
2/5 now to be on and has been as high as 1/2. Crikey, didn't think the prices would be so high. Worrying. Sad
By:
Fashion Fever
When: 27 Feb 20 11:37
we will be all b e there with masks on

imagine
By:
GAZO
When: 27 Feb 20 11:52
betfair scarfs out betfair masks in
By:
Hanx
When: 27 Feb 20 12:55
Dnno if it's in the hard-copy edition but Ritchie Forristal nails it good and proper in his column today:

A year on from the equine flu outbreak that shut down racing in Britain for a week, some have speculated that next month's Cheltenham Festival might yet face a more legitimate threat due to the spread of the coronavirus.

When the details emerged in the middle of February 2019 about a limited number of confirmed equine flu cases, this column argued the BHA's unilateral response smacked of a knee-jerk overreaction that illustrated a lamentable misunderstanding of a virus that is endemic in the horse community in this part of the world.

The Irish Equine Centre, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, the French authorities and Peter Ramzan of Rossdales veterinary practice in Newmarket were among those who relayed a far more judicious and informed message in sync with those who were accustomed to handling equine flu outbreaks on the ground.

Taking my cue from those – and other – sources, my interpretation of the BHA's management of the issue was that it had caused unnecessary disruption and panic.

The coronavirus poses an altogether different hazard to human life so it would be impossible to be quite so strident if it gets to the point that the BHA is advised that having in excess of a quarter of a million people converge on Prestbury Park over a four-day period represents an unnecessary risk.

Clearly, Covid-19 is still spreading, and its arrival at our back door in Europe inevitably makes it feel a more urgent and concerning issue. A decline in diagnoses in China suggests the virus has peaked there and hopefully the Olympics will be able to go ahead in Tokyo this summer.

On top of 2,715 reported coronavirus-related fatalities in China, there have been deaths in France and Italy. Ireland's Six Nations clash with Italy that is fixed for Dublin on March 7 has been postponed after the minister for health Simon Harris met with the Irish Rugby Football Union.

There is a perceptible logic to that decision, just as there is to the postponements of some Serie A games and Inter Milan's Europa League clash with Ludogorets being played behind closed doors.

Once central government intervenes, sporting bodies must toe the line, and when the foot-and-mouth crisis struck in 2001 the postponement of the Six Nations preceded the eventual cancellation of the Cheltenham Festival. 

The BHA is taking a watching brief and will be advised by parliament in Westminster and, for all that our sport's four days in March mean everything to us, in the greater scheme of things they are an irrelevance.

It seems there is growing concern that a further escalation in the outbreak could leave the fixture in peril, but that feels extremely  premature to me and it's worth providing a bit of context.

For starters, the vast majority of racegoers who will descend on Cheltenham will travel from Britain and Ireland. So far, there have been a grand total of 13 cases diagnosed in Britain and still none in Ireland.

Scaremongering is par for the course when these outbreaks occur, and the lack of a suitable Covid-19 vaccine obviously differentiates the virus from regular influenza. Moreover, it should be stressed that, in contrast to having had some first-hand experience of dealing with equine flu in the past and having access to well-placed sources last year, this is a topic on which I have zero authority. Research and rationality are my only instruments.

First off, reliable online sources suggest the Covid-19 fatality rate is between one and two per cent at worst, so it is roughly as virulent as common flu, which, it should be noted, causes around half a million deaths globally every year. Over 80 per cent of those diagnosed with the Covid-19 strain suffer only mild symptoms.

Perhaps crucially, the World Health Organisation appears some way off labelling the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, which is what the H1N1 strain, or swine flu as it is better-known, was categorised as in 2009. Swine flu was reported to have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide in the first 12 months of it becoming the planet's first flu pandemic in 40 years. It struck Britain after Cheltenham and Aintree's spring festivals but never threatened racing's major summer events.

Sars is another strain of coronavirus that also originated in China and still circulates to this day. It had a far more lethal fatality rate of ten per cent when it became endemic in 2003 but, again, racing carried on.

With that all in mind, it is difficult to make a cogent case for the Cheltenham Festival being in grave danger of not getting under way as scheduled on March 10, and the suggestion it might even take place behind closed doors hardly merits broaching. That would be a hollow and empty experience completely at odds with the festival's very essence.

In this day and age social media, for all its benefits during a crisis, also serves to heighten the extent of a threat like this and provokes a degree of panic. That is not to suggest this isn't an extremely serious issue, but you would like to think we are a long way from Cheltenham being in any real danger.

Apart from the 20 Premier League fixtures scheduled in the meantime, surely the round-of-16 Champions League fixtures that also begin on March 10 and will lure players and fans from so many European countries all around the continent represent a more pressing risk of contagion.

Likewise, a couple of million people ride the tube in London each day, so as long as cosmopolitan transport networks like that can function in major urban areas Prestbury Park's more agrarian gathering can stand its ground.

Around one million passengers travel through British airports on a daily basis, and Dr Jennifer Rohn, a senior biologist at University College, London, said this week: "In this day and age, all you need is one person at an airport, and you can infect the whole world."

That statement gets right to the kernel of the matter. The world is a much smaller place these days, and by extension what happens in Cheltenham during those four days in March is a relative triviality.

There's good and bad in that, but as long as the planes fly, the tubes hurtle and packed Champions League stadiums bounce to the magic of Messi and Salah, so too must the show go on in the Cotswolds. 
By:
foxy
When: 27 Feb 20 13:55
A good read
By:
Hanx
When: 27 Feb 20 14:58
Hopefully take the wind out the sails of some of the more hysterical and panic-driven members of our community
By:
geoff m
When: 27 Feb 20 15:02
not taken wind out of sails of those backing off into 13/8.
By:
duffy
When: 27 Feb 20 15:19
And remember, horse racing is very much viewed as the black sheep of the sporting community in our society these days with a growing ante public opinion being hard driven by the extremist groups, if any major sporting event was the first to go it would be the festival, if it goes ahead it will be the festival that will be blamed for global destruction should the situation worsenCrazy
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