Cheltenham Festival Horse Racing Sport

Skelton Shines As Fans Return To Horse Racing

Jockey Dan Skelton has won back to back Grade Ones at Sandown Park as fans returned to the track following the ease of coronavirus restrictions.

Skelton rode Allmankind, trained by his brother Harry, to victory in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase and Politilogue, trained by Paul Nicholls, to the Tingle Creek just 30 minutes later.

Politilogue went off as 11/8 favourite after two-time Champion Chase winner Altior was withdrawn due to the soft ground.

Elsewhere, the David Pipe trained Vieux Lion Rouge won the Beecher Handicap at Aintree, beating Kimberlite Candy in second by 24 lengths.

This bodes well for The International meeting at Cheltenham, with fans returning to Prestbury Park for the first time since the festival, on Friday.

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2,000 people will be allowed in with a series of restrictions being put in place to make sure everyone attending stays safe.

Keen race-goer, Ian Turner, who has tickets for both days of this weekend’s meet in Gloucestershire, spoke of his delight of fans being allowed back in.

“Sport just isn’t the same without fans, I think we’ve seen that now. It’s been great to see the extra coverage of Horse Racing on the T.V. but it’s just not the same as being there.

“I can’t wait to be back.”

There was a lot of controversy around the festival being allowed to take place in March, but Turner believes that the sport is in a better place to deal with the pandemic.

“Looking back, it wasn’t the right decision to stage the festival, let alone allow hundreds of thousands of people in!

“It could be a while until we get that signature ‘Cheltenham roar’ back, but if the right restrictions are put in place, hopefully we’ll see more than 2,000 fans in March.”

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