Coronavirus: Scottish Grand National called off

The centrepiece of the Scottish jumps racing calendar will not go ahead at Ayr Racecourse.

Coronavirus: Scottish Grand National called off SNS

The Scottish Grand National scheduled to take place at Ayr Racecourse in April has been postponed following the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision comes as the British Horseracing Authority announced that all racing will be stopped from Wednesday and a day after the Jockey Club announced that the Grand National at Aintree has been cancelled.

Last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced all large gatherings above 500 people with the potential to impact the emergency services should be cancelled from today.

The Scottish Grand National, which was scheduled for April 18, is the highlight of the jumps racing calendar in Scotland, attracts crowds of over 19,000 people at Ayr Racecourse. This year’s race was sold out.

It’s not known if the race will be scheduled for a later date.

Ryan Mania, winner of the 2013 Grand National, said: “It would be one thing if we knew we were going to be racing again in April, but since that can’t be confirmed, it could be a disaster.

“You can’t keep the animals training for that long, trainers aren’t going to keep going indefinitely, jockeys aren’t going to have anything to do, people are going to lose their jobs.

“Hopefully we can get some assistance from the Professional Jockeys Association but that can’t make up our living. It’s really uncertain times.”

The Scottish Grand National is run over four miles with a field of up to 30 horses jumping 27 fences.

Takingrisks, ridden by Sean Quinlan, won the race last year.