Hayley Turner on Coronavirus and Racing

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Coronavirus impacts on the world of horse racing

Hayley on life in Newmarket since the outbreak of COVID-19:

I think everyone is still struggling to get their heads around the current situation – it’s completely unprecedented but one we are all taking very seriously.

I consider ourselves lucky that we have still been able to ride out in the mornings. Starting the day with some fresh air in this weather has been fantastic and has been good for the mind! I’ve mainly been riding out at Michael Bell’s where everyone is taking extra precautions.

In the yard and on Newmarket Heath we have been keeping at least two metres apart from each other, as well as maintaining the highest cleanliness standards in the yard. The trainers themselves are taking absolutely zero chances as they need to keep their horses trained.

Hayley Turner on horseback at Newmarket
Hayley and the rest of Newmarket are taking every precaution possible

Hayley on the start (or not) of the Turf season:

It is hard to believe that this weekend would usually be the start of the British flat turf season at Doncaster! As far as we know, and I am very aware it is not necessarily going to happen, we’ve been told that racing is due to start again at the start of May. For someone like Charlie Appleby who trains Pinatubo and is the short priced favourite (11/10 with MansionBet)  for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket at the start of May, he has to train his horse as if the race is going to go ahead. It’s a very tough situation as horses are very sensitive, you have to build their fitness up to peak at the right time.

You can’t just expect them to turn up in A1 shape on the day. It’s the same for us jockeys too (and other sports men and women), we need to ensure we are race ready in case we are racing again. We are waiting for something that’s out of our control but we’ve got to be ready to go all the same!

Pinatubo is  the ante-post favourite for the 2000 Guineas in May.

Hayley on the support she’s received:

The Professional Jockeys Association (the PJA) have been incredibly helpful. They’ve kept us up to date with what’s going on and I’d like to thank them.

Hayley on life without sport in quarantine:

It’s been tough with no sport on! Instead I’ve been keeping busy by playing different games: catchphrase, dominos and an old game Kerby which is a game we used to play as children! I also mowed my lawn in the sunshine this week. There has obviously been lots of time for films and I watched Coming To America last night which is one of my favourites!

I hope everyone and their families are keeping safe and positive!


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