NEXT month’s Grand National WILL be cancelled, according to the MP for the Aintree area of Liverpool.
Bill Esterson wants a decision on racing’s showpiece, scheduled for April 4, to be made quickly.
He said: “It’s a question for the Government. If other sporting events have been cancelled it seems likely that horse racing will be cancelled as well.
“The Government will need to make the decision in a timely fashion on public-health grounds and give the racing industry and everyone whose livelihoods depend on it time to adjust.”
And Esterson, the Labour MP for Sefton Central, added: “They should also ensure financial support is available for the thousands of people in the industry who will be affected.”
Despite postponements of almost all other major sporting events in the UK, racing has continued, with five meetings in England yesterday and one in Ireland.
Two more UK fixtures are due to go ahead today with one in Ireland.
And on the day the Premier League and EFL announced a shutdown, the Cheltenham Festival concluded with Gold Cup day — with the attendance for the four days hitting 251,684.
The Grand National is the world’s richest jumps race, attracting a crowd of around 70,000, with 600million people expected to watch it in 140 countries.
Nearly half the UK adult population have a flutter with a total of around £300m wagered.
And Irish horse Tiger Roll would be chasing an unprecedented hat-trick of triumphs.
Emma Lavelle, president of the National Trainers Federation, said last night there had been no discussions about whether the race could still go ahead.
She said: “I have no more knowledge than anybody else does.
“I think a lot of this is going to be Government-led and once they have a clear plan in place we will be directed by them.”
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