Grand National 2020 Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Tiger Roll Triumphs At The Randox Health Grand National 2019

News that The Grand National 2020 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic was announced earlier this week. Due to take place on April 4th, the news came without shock due to the current global environment, whereas a worldwide effort we are asked to stay indoors, avoid social gatherings, minimise travel and take additional measures to keep ourselves safe, and virus free.

The decision to cancel the 2020 Grand National came following the government’s advice on the 16th March, only three weeks prior to this year’s fixture taking place. Consideration was given to the social gathering aspect of the event, which each year sees in around 150,000 people, with an estimated 600 million watching it from around 140 countries.

The Jockey Club had initially announced all racing during the event would take place behind closed doors for 2020. However, due to health risks to staff, trainers, handlers and organisers, who undertake considerable travel and work in close contact with others it was considered not a viable option.

Notably, the last time the Grand National was cancelled was during world war II. The racing spectacular was founded by William Lynn, a syndicate head and hotelier, and was first ran in February 1839 as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase before later adopting the name for what it is known as today.


Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, said:

The Randox Health Grand National Festival was just three weeks away and it’s very clear to us it will not be possible for the event to take place. Public health must come first.

We were working on a plan to stage the Grand National behind closed doors given its importance to the racing industry and beyond, but following the new Government measures confirmed this evening to help to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, this is not a viable option.

I know this is hugely disappointing news for the many people who work in our sport and the many millions who were looking forward to this year’s event, but very sadly these are exceptional times and this is the responsible thing to do.”

Tiger Roll looked set to be the front runner for 2020, expecting to take home a third executive win from the world-famous steeplechase. Trained by Gordon Elliot, Tiger Roll has been the only horse to take a back to back win in the race since Red Rum. Other favourites included Burrows Saint, trained by Willie Mullins, and Any Second Now trained by Ted Walsh.

This year’s ticket holders will be entitled to a full refund, according to Aintree Racecourse. The Liverpool based venue operates a full refund policy in the event of any race-day closure.

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