Roger Varian Believes Royal Ascot Needs To Go Ahead Even Behind Closed Doors

Roger Varian

Leading trainer Roger Varian has expressed that Royal Ascot is a must needed festival to go ahead this season even if it means doing so behind closed doors for the good of the racing industry.

The racecourse that hosts the royal meeting revealed on Tuesday that the five day meeting would take place behind closed doors this year in the event that the BHA and government gave the prestigious meeting the green light.

This came after the first four Classic contests of the season are to be rescheduled and will not go ahead at Newmarket and Epsom and could be rescheduled for later on in the year.

Varian has trained three Royal Ascot winners during his career, including Daahyeh in the Albany Stakes last season and he has stressed how much this meeting needs to go ahead.

(Credit Racing Post) He said: "Everyone appreciates Ascot is going to be much better with the public there and operating in the way it normally does, but this is a unique situation and taking it behind closed doors rather than not at all is something everyone in the racing industry is going to support.

"What Royal Ascot does is offer races that are crucial to the industry and you can see there's a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes by people thinking about things like this and trying to make it work for everyone."

The trainer had been getting his mare ready to go in the 1000 Guineas but understands that by postponing the meeting it could allow for racing to come back earlier than later.

He added: "The fact it was said in the announcement that the Guineas and the Derby were being postponed rather than cancelled is encouraging in my view.

"I think you'd have been an optimist to think the Guineas would've taken place in their original slot, but as long as we're given some notice of when racing might restart then horses shouldn't take too long to ready.

"We've already seen in France they've reshaped the programme with a view to the Classics, so that's something that can be done even if it means it's potentially a slightly different test."