The Cheltenham Festival will continue despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to race organisers.
Questions have been asked about the potential risk to public safety of having circa 60,000 people in close proximity as governments take drastic action to minimise the outbreak.
Off The Ball's John Duggan spoke to the race organisers to discern whether the action will continue into day four, who say they are following government guidance.
NEWS: The Jockey Club Regional Director in charge of Cheltenham, Ian Renton, spoke to @JohnDugganSport after it was confirmed Gold Cup day will proceed with crowds tomorrow following a UK Government update. pic.twitter.com/2AlYABHC95
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) March 12, 2020
As racing goes ahead, Samcro has returned to winning ways at the Marsh Novices' Hurdle on Thursday afternoon.
The 2018 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle winner, under the ride of Davy Russell, rallied late to defeat Melon by a nose with the veteran Faugheen back in third.
"Samcro is one of the favourites in the yard," winning trainer Gordon Elliott told Racing TV.
"Obviously, he was in the doldrums for a while, so to get him back and win a Grade One in Cheltenham is something else.
"You can see how much it means to everyone in the yard. A lot of people have done a lot of work with this horse - they have spent day and night trying to get him right.
"He hasn't been scoping clean and it's been hard to get him to scope right.
"We have done a lot of different things, like building him a new stable, and he's pulled it off today. Everyone was knocking him, saying this and saying that.
"I probably even lost a bit of faith in him myself, but the horses are flying and I just can't believe it.
"I am a bit of a pessimist, but I thought Melon had got us on the line, to be honest. He missed the second-last and Davy said that knocked the stuffing out of him.
"He jumped brilliantly apart from that. It was a great race to watch, with Melon, Faugheen and Samcro - that's what this place is all about."