March 17, 2020 / 7:07 AM / 3 months ago

Horse racing: Dubai World Cup meeting to be held 'without paid spectators'

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Dubai World Cup horse race meeting will go ahead on March 28 “without paid hospitality spectators” due to concerns of the new coronavirus outbreak, Dubai Racing Club said in a statement.

Spectators have been banned at race meetings this month across the United Arab Emirates, which has recorded 98 cases of the virus.

“Only horse connections, racing officials, accredited media and sponsors will be permitted entry” to the Dubai World Cup, the club said on its website.

The United Arab Emirates’ premier horse racing festival is regularly attended by members of the country’s ruling families.

All associated events, including the post position draw scheduled for March 25 and race day entertainment, had been canceled, it said.

Dubai Racing Club said the meeting was being held without paid hospitality spectators due to ongoing global health implications of the virus and because of precautionary measures being implemented by the UAE government.

Other major sporting events and concerts in the UAE have been canceled or postponed due to the rapidly spreading virus.

Dubai Racing Club and Dubai’s government media office did not immediately respond to requests for further comment.

The Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in North American horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be postponed to September from May due to the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. media reported.

(The story has been refiled to fix grammatical error in headline)

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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