Grand National to go ahead as planned despite Prince Philip death after postponement talks

Grand National to go ahead as planned despite Prince Philip death after postponement talks

Grand National to go ahead as planned despite Prince Philip death after postponement talks
The Grand National will not be postponed following the death of Prince Philip on Friday. Talks were held to discuss potentially pushing back the 2021 National but it has been confirmed the race will go ahead as scheduled at 5.15pm on Saturday.
The British Horseracing Authority and Jockey Club racecourses, the owners of the iconic Aintree course, held talks to discuss the matter after the Duke of Edinburgh passed away aged 99.

And a statement confirmed on Friday afternoon: “Jockey Club racecourses has held discussions with the British Horseracing Authority regarding the staging of Randox Grand National day tomorrow at Aintree racecourse.

“Following consultation with government, we can confirm it will go ahead on Saturday. 

“Following the sad news of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh a two-minute silence will be held on course ahead of the 173rd Grand National, jockeys will be invited to wear black armbands and flags will be flown at half-mast at the racecourse.”

Friday’s Ladies Day also went ahead as planned but a two-minute silence was held at the course prior to the first race at 1.45pm.

Big screens around Aintree also showed tributes during the silence while flags were also flown at half-mast.

Prince Philip had been an honorary member of the Jockey Club since 1947. The Duke attended several race meetings with The Queen, who has long had an interest in horses, including Royal Ascot.

Senior Steward of The Jockey Club Sandy Dudgeon said in reaction to the news earlier on Friday: “We received the news of The Duke of Edinburgh’s death with great sadness. 

“On behalf of The Jockey Club, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and all members of the Royal Family.”

While Ascot racecourse said via Sir Francis Brooke, the Queen’s representative: “We extend our deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family at this time.

“We have very happy memories of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at Ascot where he accompanied Her Majesty The Queen on so many occasions and shared in her successes. 

“One of the most memorable moments was in 2012 when His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh presented Her Majesty The Queen with the Queen’s Vase after Estimate’s victory.”

The 2020 Grand National had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, just weeks after the Cheltenham Festival controversially went ahead with sold-out crowds.

This year’s race, if it goes ahead, will be held behind closed doors just as Cheltenham was last month.

ITV meanwhile confirmed that their broadcast of Friday’s racing would switch to ITV4 for the day as the country morns the death of the Duke. Saturday’s Grand National will be shown on ITV as normal.

A statement from Buckingham Palace on Friday said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course.

“The royal family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said outside Downing Street: “He [Philip] was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

“With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.

We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.

“Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her ‘strength and stay’, of more than 70 years.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.