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Cheltenham Coronavirus latest odds - Will 2020 Cheltenham Festival be cancelled because of virus?

  • Cheltenham Festival remains odds-on to go ahead despite Coronavirus concerns
  • Betfair odds suggest 2020 Festival will start as planned on Tuesday, March 10th 2020 but racegoers are told to stay away if they are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with the virus
(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Will the Coronavirus lead to Cheltenham being postponed?

Racegoers who are planning on attending next week's Cheltenham Festival have been told to stay away if they are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with coronavirus.

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival still looks set to go ahead after after prime minister Boris Johnson insisted it was "business as usual" following an meeting to discuss the coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom and after revealing plans to deal with the virus.

But Betfair's 'Will Racing Go Ahead?' market has seen some movement in the past 24 hours after a public health notice was released by the BHA and Cheltenham Racecourse on Thursday.

The notice asks those who have symptoms linked to Coronavirus and those who have recently travelled to any of the high-risk countries linked to the virus to avoid next week's four-day Festival.

Racegoers were told on Thursday: "Do not travel to the Cheltenham Festival if: - You have any of the following symptoms - a cough, a high temperature or shortness of breath AND - You have been to or transitted through the high risk countries, or been in contact with anyone that has, in the last 14 days.

"To protect yourself and others please do not travel and call NHS 111 (GB) or HSE 112 (Republic of Ireland) for expert advice. These measures are being taken in order for us to safeguard everyone’s health and wellbeing during the current public health situation. Thank you for your understanding."

The Betfair market in relation to Day One of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival had been trading as short as Even money at one point before drifting out to around 5/1 shortly before the Mr Johnson's statement from 10 Downing Street on Tuesday morning.

Following Thursday's notice from Cheltenham and the BHA, the Betfair exchange moved once again, with the chances of Cheltenham being cancelled rated at around 5/2.

But Friday morning saw further movement, this time in a more encouraging direction for racing fans. As of 09:00 GMT on Friday, March 6th, the odds were at around 1.2 (1/5) for 'Yes' (in from from 1.38 (4/11) on Thursday) and 5.7 (9/2) 'No' (out from 3.5 (5/2).

Cheltenham Racecourse on Wednesday confirmed plans to have more wash basins and toilet facilities on site next week, as well as ensuring that hand sanitisers would be available to racegoers.

The goverment's briefing earlier in the week noted that should the disease become established in the UK, further measures to be considered included reducing large-scale gatherings, but at time of writing, the Cheltenham Festival is still scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 10th with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at 13:30 GMT.

We'll update this page in the coming hours and days should there be any further developments or major market moves.

Cheltenham Coronavirus odds FAQs

When is the 2020 Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10th-Friday, March 13th.

Will Cheltenham be cancelled because of Coronavirus?

Cheltenham Racecourse insist Cheltenham will go ahead as scheduled but have met with the BHA in recent days.

What are the latest Cheltenham Festival Coronavirus odds?

It remains odds-on at time of writing that the 2020 Cheltenham Festival will go ahead as planned.

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