With the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas in May under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic, ROA member Rae Borras is willing to put his dreams of Classic glory aside for his unbeaten colt Kenzai Warrior, as he is more concerned with how the virus will impact those working in the industry.
Racing was placed into lockdown by the British Horseracing Authority this month, a suspension that is set to last until the end of April. However, with stricter measures on movement imposed by the government on Monday evening, it is unclear when racing will be able to resume.
Borras and his wife, Carol, who co-own the Roger Teal-trained Kenzai Warrior, were relishing a return to Newmarket’s Rowley Mile after their colt’s heroics in the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes last September. Those plans are now on hold.
He said: “We were really looking forward to the season and would have loved to have run in the 2,000 Guineas but at the end of the day, the horses will just have to wait for a different day.
“Our disappointment about our dreams being put on hold is one thing, but our concern is for the people whose livelihood depends on racing. That means we’ve got to put our dreams to one side and put our heads together to see what we can do to make sure that we’re supporting people in this time.
“Our concern is for the people whose livelihood depends on racing”
“Now more than ever, we’ve got to support the trainers and the people working in it. It isn’t the best paid industry and most of the guys and girls who look after the horses do it for the love of animals and as a vocation.”
The longer the situation in Britain remains in its current state, the more the strain will be felt by many in the industry as they try to survive without racing. Racing’s Covid-19 industry steering group is working hard in the background to produce a financial plan to access support from the government’s package announced last week.
Racing’s major funding income is through the levy and estimates have suggested that there could be a loss of £9.8 million until the end of April and a further loss of around £28 million if racing is unable to continue before July.
The Borrases are continuing to support Teal and his staff at his Lambourn base with Kenzai Warrior and their winning gelding Spirit Of May remaining in training.
“The simple fact is nothing is forever,” Borras continued. “This will be a horrible nightmare in the history of racing, and it may well cost one or two big races. We have good, fit, young horses and Roger and his team are doing everything they can.
“Roger has moved to new facilities and Kenzai is swimming four times a day to get that extra edge with his fitness. He’s ready for when racing comes back but at the end of the day, my instinct tells me it’ll be later rather than sooner.”