- Newspaper suspended earlier this week
- Digital edition will cover international racing
The Racing Post, the sport’s daily trade newspaper, will relaunch a digital version of its print edition from Saturday, just 24 hours after suspending publication in print until British racing returns at the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
Apart from a seven-month spell when it faced competition from its short-lived rival the Sportsman, the Post has been racing’s only daily paper since the closure of the Sporting Life in April 1998.
The news that it would be missing from the industry’s breakfast tables from Friday was met with widespread disappointment and concern, amid fears that a prolonged suspension might mean the print edition would not return. The swift reappearance of the digital edition, however, which is available via download to subscribers to the Post’s “Ultimate” package, will go some way to easing the anxiety.
“Even though circumstances mean getting the newspaper out to our readers the normal way is temporarily impossible, old habits die hard,” Tom Kerr, the Post’s editor, said on Friday.
“We were keen to keep publishing a digital version of the print product, alongside our coverage on racingpost.com and our app. It’ll be much shorter than usual, of course, but will give our readers missing the newspaper a taste of their usual morning read, which should help tide us over until the return of racing means we’re back in print again.”
A majority of the Post’s print journalists are currently “furloughed” awaiting the return of British racing, which is currently suspended until the end of April.
“Everyone at the Racing Post has been incredibly moved by the support offered by our readers, the racing industry and colleagues in the media,” Kerr said. “I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to send messages and best wishes in recent days.”
The Post’s digital edition will include coverage of the handful of jurisdictions around the world which are still staging race meetings behind closed doors. These currently include Hong Kong, Australia – where there is Group One action on Saturday – and some tracks in the USA, though active courses are coming under pressure to suspend operations as the number of cases of coronavirus in the US continues to rise.
Javier Castellano, one of the country’s leading jockeys, revealed that he has tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, but Gulfstream Park in Florida, where he was due to ride this weekend, currently seems determined to complete its winter season behind closed doors with the Florida Derby card on Saturday.