Covid Scotland: Musselburgh race meeting on New Year’s Day goes behind closed doors

The New Year’s Day meeting at Musselburgh Racecourse will now take place behind closed doors, track officials have announced.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:10 pm

The East Lothian course have taked the decision to stage the event without spectators following the Scottish Government’s decision to limit outdoor sporting events from Boxing Day to a maximum of 500 people with table service only.

The traditional January 1 meeting had been heading for a 6,000 capacity sell out and was due to welcome world boxing champion and local hero, Josh Taylor, as a special guest.

Musselburgh officials said all ticket holders would be offered a transfer to future race days or a full refund.

The stands at Musselburgh Racecourse will be empty on New Year's Day

Racecourse general manager Bill Farnsworth said: “It is very unfortunate as this is one of our best and biggest race days and one of our most popular, attended by a sell-out crowd.

“However, we all must play our part in keeping people safe and in light of the latest government guidance on the Omicron variant, we feel the responsible decision is to make this a behind closed doors event with only horse owners, trainers and staff in attendance.

“All ticket holders for the cancelled racedays on January 1 and 3 will be able to transfer to future race days or will receive a full refund.”

The six-race card – with three races broadcast live on ITV – includes the feature £30,000 Betway Hogmaneigh Hurdle Handicap, and with total prize money of £105,000, it is expected there will be strong entries heading to Musselburgh from the leading northern yards and further afield.