Good Friday racing at Musselburgh would cover both Flat and jumps racesPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Musselburgh in bid for first Good Friday raceday
MUSSELBURGH racecourse is to make a bid to introduce Good Friday racing to Britain for the first time.
A plan is to be put to the British Horseracing Authority to create a three-day Easter meeting, adding the typically blank Good Friday to existing fixtures on Easter Saturday and Sunday.
Good Friday is the only public holiday other than Christmas Day when there is no horseracing in Britain. In a statement, Musselburgh said it had identifed changing attitudes to how people spend their leisure time.
BHA resistance to Good Friday fixtures has been partly attributed to popular Open Days in Lambourn and Middleham. Musselburgh boss Bill Farnsworth claims that Scotland does not have any similar training centres and believes this should not be an obstacle.
The statement added that "it is believed senior racing administrators are sympathetic to the idea" of breaking the mould.
If successful, Musselburgh's Good Friday raceday would feature both Flat and jumps races. This would prove another initiative, as Scotland's first mixed card.
Farnsworth said: "We have to keep moving forward and think differently if horse racing is to prosper and I believe a three-day Easter Festival would be a huge hit with racing fans and within the industry.
"Traditionally racing has not been staged on Good Friday but nowadays most retailers and leisure operators are open as normal and we have to move with the times. I believe Good Friday racing would be most welcome by the huge number of racing fans on holiday over the Easter weekend.
"Training centres in the south hold their open days on Good Friday but as we don't have training centres in Scotland that shouldn't be an issue."