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Racing Post ceases its print edition indefinitely

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Racing Post

Racing Post

The Racing Post will cease publication from today in what will be the first time that racing's flagship daily newspaper hasn't been printed since its foundation in 1986.

The latest in a long line of lay-offs due to the coronavirus pandemic will see many staff at the Racing Post be out of full-time employment for the foreseeable future with racing in Ireland and England forced to cancel amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Irish racing had been flying the flag for the past week with closed-doors cards keeping the Racing Post ticking over but yesterday's announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar put paid to racing on these shores until April 19 at the earliest.

Irish greyhound racing also fell by the wayside and with those decisions coming a week after the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) cancelled British racing until May, the Racing Post were forced to make some difficult calls.

The exact number of people who will lose employment is not yet clear but approximately 300 jobs are believed to be in jeopardy after workers were informed of the cutbacks yesterday.

A skeleton staff will continue to update their digital platforms during this period with the hugely popular Racing Post App one of the most trusted sources of equine information.

Doncaster racecourse has taken steps to fill the massive racing void by organising a virtual race day on Saturday - which would have been Unibet Lincoln day.

The racecourse has been hit especially hard in recent months with the loss of the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy, the November Handicap card and a Peaky Blinders-themed raceday, which had significant pre-sales, due to bad weather.

In an attempt to raise spirits, an event billed as 'The Flat Is Back - Virtually' will see seven races shown on their social media channels with a racecard published 10 minutes before each clip.

Two divisions of the Brocklesby, two renewals of the Doncaster Mile, two runnings of the Spring Mile and just as it would have been had racing been taking place, the highlight will be the Lincoln.

There will even be a Best Dressed competition with the chance to win two County Enclosure tickets for a day of your choosing.

Head of marketing Emma Rouse said: "I had a bit of an epiphany on Monday night. The Flat was supposed to be back on Saturday and we'd put so much work into it as a team and we'd had good advanced sales.

"We didn't want to lose that totally, so we thought we'd celebrate racedays gone by."