Musselburgh Racecourse is ready to stage a pilot race meeting with spectators once it gets the green light from the Scottish Government.

The East Lothian course had hoped to gain approval for an initial event with a limited 500 race goers for its next meeting on Sunday 6 September, but had to shelve plans when approval was not forthcoming.

Extensive planning and the introduction of stringent protocols have developed a system where Musselburgh believes an outdoor event with social distancing could be safely staged.

Ongoing discussions with the Scottish Government and racing body Scottish Racing are continuing and when the proposals meet with government requirements and are approved by East Lothian Council’s Safety Advisory Group, Musselburgh will look to hold a pilot race day with spectators.

Musselburgh Racecourse – ready for pilot race day with limited spectators

Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth, said “We have developed a robust plan for hosting 500 spectators in conditions where we maximise the benefits of having extensive outdoor areas which can safely maintain social distancing.

“Scottish Rugby has hosted the first Scottish sporting event with spectators and we understand racing fans are keen to experience the same thrill of enjoying live sport. We are working hard with the Scottish Government and other relevant agencies to agree a plan which meets everyone’s expectations.

“It is important that we start the process of getting our race day staff back to work, not to mention supporting all our race day suppliers, ancillary staff, bookmakers and others whose livelihoods depend on the racing industry.”

Bill Farnsworth, general manager, Musselburgh Racecourse

Musselburgh will continue to race behind closed doors until all approvals are granted and has meetings scheduled for Sunday 6 September, Saturday 12 September and Sunday 27 September.