Talking Horses: Royal Ascot may need to embrace change in troubled times

By: Greg Wood Tuesday 19 January 2021

The event is adding a seventh race to its daily card but with racing’s future so uncertain, more ambition would be welcome

There might be a crusty traditionalist or two who will see the permanent addition of a seventh race to the Royal Ascot daily card as a sign of the end times for the Turf. The fact that all five of the races that will now become fixtures on the schedule are handicaps could also prompt a few complaints that the bookmakers will be the biggest supporters of the move.

The point on which everyone should focus above all, however, is that racing is now two months away from an entire year with 99.5% of its meetings behind closed doors, with no more than 2,500 spectators per day at any of the handful of racecourses where paying punters actually made it past the door.

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