An open letter from Sophie Able, General Manager at Newmarket Racecourses
We are delighted that racing returns to Newmarket next week and it will be a tremendous thrill to have world-class horses competing on the Rowley Mile once again.
Whilst the racecourse has not sat idle in recent months and is continuing to play its part in protecting the population of Newmarket and surrounding area as a vaccination centre, we are greatly looking forward to the resumption of action on track.
However, the return of racing does not mean that things are back to normal; far from it. I am writing this open letter ask for your help in the coming weeks and months.
The gradual easing of restrictions as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, combined with an improvement in the weather, is understandably seeing more and more people eager to get out and about after the challenging winter we have all had.
During the first few weeks of our season racing remains behind closed doors and subject to strict protocols to minimise the risk of virus transmission. These protocols have been hugely successful at racecourses across the country – including at Newmarket last year - since the sport resumed last June, but they depend on the site being secure and not having a public presence in or around the racecourse.
For the reasons outlined above, I would ask you to avoid the Rowley Mile and surrounding area on the following dates:
1st & 2nd May
Unless you are permitted to attend behind closed doors fixtures.
Minimising the public presence around the racecourse will allow us to operate a secure site for racing. It will help to ensure we can continue to progress towards the easing of restrictions, which will in time allow the phased return of spectators and mean other aspects of everyday life can begin to return to a more recognisable state.
We understand people will be keen to take advantage of some of the open spaces that we have in Newmarket and that racing is a sight that has not been seen here for some months.
However, I would ask you to wait just a little longer until we are able to welcome you back to the racecourse properly. We are greatly looking forward to doing so but would ask that until we can, you avoid coming to the racecourse and surrounding area when we are racing.
Thank you for your help, patience and understanding.