Racing2Learn, a new online e-learning platform for those involved in the racing and thoroughbred breeding industries, was launched by the British Horseracing Authority on Wednesday.

Developed over the last 12 months in collaboration with 1st4SportQualifications and the wider racing industry, the platform aims to provide a range of flexible e-learning courses that can be accessed remotely.

Some of the courses have been designed for specific job roles within racing and breeding while more generic courses are available. Free to use for a limited period, once people are registered more courses can be accessed.

Among the areas covered in the courses are horse care, racehorse welfare and safeguarding.

Each course contains interactive elements and certificates can be achieved which have continuous professional development (CPD) points applied by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

Gill Greeves, Vocational Training Manager at the BHA, said: “Today marks the launch of Racing2Learn, a free to use online learning platform designed for all those involved with British racing and breeding.

“Racing2Learn adds an important new feature to the existing comprehensive programme of training and education in our sector. It provides a range of interesting and interactive courses, all certificated and supported by the achievement of CPD points.

“It is our hope that at this challenging time the platform may be of use for people who wish to continue their individual learning and development through remote access to an ever-increasing range of courses.”

Newbury racecourse announce new partnership

To help feed vulnerable elderly people in West Berkshire during the coronavirus pandemic, Newbury racecourse has partnered with Age Concern Newbury & District and Swift Couriers.

Age Concern Newbury & District has delivered meals on wheels to local residents for over 50 years and are upscaling their operation by working with the track and Swift Couriers.

Newbury have pledged their support by providing a meals and wheels hub in a contained dedicated area, using available kitchens and chefs to support the amount of people who require the service as well as donating £1,000 worth of food from existing supplies. All fees associated with using the site have been waived.

Chefs from the Fair Close Centre, run by Age Concern Newbury & District, and Newbury racecourse have joined forces to prepare hot nutritious meals up to seven days a week.

Swift Couriers are optimising delivery route and have pledged to provide vans to deliver snack packs to outlying areas to help the most vulnerable people in the borough.

The meals on wheels service will continue to be a paid for service, with orders made over the phone and those wishing to order can call 01635 40488 to do so. The lunchtime service will be extended to seven days a week as possible with phased planning to meet growing demand.

Julian Thick, Chief Executive of Newbury racecourse, said: “There is a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety around current COVID-19 pandemic. We want to play our part as much as we possibly can for the most vulnerable groups within our local community and have the resource and extensive space here at the racecourse to allow us to assist with a co-ordinated and safe response to the unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in.

“Working closely with the team at Age Concern Newbury & District, and Swift Couriers as well as the West Berkshire CCG, hopefully we can ease some pressure on the current services across the borough and provide much larger quantities of meals to the most vulnerable. Huge thanks must go to all my own team, many of whom have volunteered to help with the relief efforts.”

James Wilcox, Chief Executive of Age Concern Newbury & District, added: “We are so grateful to Swift Couriers for their distribution and logistics expertise and support in processing the increased numbers.

“Newbury racecourse will enable us to scale up the operation with the use of their kitchens, chef and staff to meet the demand. It is amazing to see the response of so many businesses, charities and volunteers in our area.”

Racing to continue behind closed doors in Japan

Japan will continue to host race meetings behind closed doors, a decision which was announced by the Japan Racing Association on Wednesday.

It comes after the country implemented a state of emergency on Tuesday due to the coronavirus outbreak, which hands Japanese regional governments additional security powers in and around Tokyo and other central areas of the country.

As a result, the JRA has adapted their measures to adhere to the new rules and from this weekend, jockeys will have to serve their pre-race quarantine in personal ‘certified adjustment rooms’, rather than in communal co-ordination quarters at the tracks.

Jockeys will be unable to ride at two different courses over the period of a single weekend meaning those who have rides in next Sunday’s Shuka Sho (2,000 Guineas) will not be able to ride at Hanshin’s card the day before.

Restrictions on the movement of horses have also been announced; horses entered at below stakes level will have to be campaigned in their own sector of the country until a review into the measures at the beginning of May.