Goffs has announced a number of changes to its upcoming sales schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Goffs UK Breeze-Up, which was due to be held at Doncaster between April 22-23, will now be held on either June 13-14 or June 14-15, the eve of Royal Ascot, assuming the Royal meeting goes ahead.

As a result, the boutique Goffs London Sale will be suspended for 2020 and will return in 2021. The venue for the Breeze-Up Sale has not be announced but Goffs are intending for it to be held close to London.

The Goffs UK Spring Sale of stores and HIT/Point-to-Pointers and the Goffs Land Rover Sale will be held in the weeks commencing July 27 and August 3.

Goffs are intending for their yearling sales in Kildare and Doncaster to go ahead as scheduled while yearling inspections are being planned for May, subject to government directives, and will adhere to strict protocols.

Henry Beeby, Goffs Group Chief Executive, said: “In these uncertain times we must plan as best we can but accept that time is going to be required before any degree of normality returns to our lives.

“With that in mind we have revisited our sales calendar and listened to the directives and information coming from our governments and the aspirations of the racing authorities in both countries.

“We do not feel it would be sensible to attempt to sell any category until such time as racing returns in some form in the UK and/or Ireland and hope this revised schedule allows the time for that to happen and for the dream of racehorse ownership to be reignited in potential purchasers.

“The Breeze-Up Sale will utilise a highly successful date in the Goffs calendar and follows a proven formula for sales ring and top-class racecourse success. Meanwhile the alternative store sales dates recall a time when the best used to be sold at that time of year.

“Indeed, I remember working my first DBS sale in August 1978 when the cream of the crop was offered. These later dates also provide the opportunity for some point-to-pointers and horses in training to be marketed to a willing market.

“We hope that this revised schedule gives some clarity to our clients whilst recognising that there are no ideal solutions to a situation no one foresaw just a few weeks ago. However, we are grateful to the industry for their assistance and assure every Goffs client that we will work tirelessly to provide the best possible opportunities to sell and buy.

“Finally, I want to thank the Goffs teams in Ireland and the UK for their commitment and proactivity whilst we operate our work from home policy to ensure that we keep everyone safe and play our part in trying to halt the spread of this awful virus.”

Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Beaumont dies

Peter Beaumont, trainer of 1993 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Jodami, has died at the age of 85.

Jodami’s Festival success came at the expense of the Martin Pipe-trained Rushing Wild and Jenny Pitman’s Royal Athlete under Mark Dwyer. The Crash Course gelding also won the Irish Gold Cup (previously called the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup) three years in a row.

Beaumont’s other big winners included Scottish Grand National hero Young Kenny and Hussard Collonges, who won the RSA Chase.

At Aintree in 1991, Beaumont’s daughter Anthea Morshead partnered J-J Henry to success in the Topham Chase.

Morshead, speaking to the Racing Post, said: “I’m heartbroken. He just died in his sleep last night. It’s a lovely way to go – it truly was peaceful. He just slept and didn’t wake up.

“We sneaked out in the sunshine last week on his mobility scooter and went round the park and nature reserve, which was lovely. I’m glad we did it.

“He didn’t have a bad word for anybody and I didn’t know anybody with a bad word for him, he was just so kind. And in racing, where everything is very competitive, that’s quite rare.

“He did gather friends everywhere. All the girls in the home were in tears and everywhere he went people loved him, he was just a kind, gentle man.”

Newmarket’s vulnerable residents protected

A number of leading industry partners and community organisations have teamed up to ensure Newmarket’s vulnerable residents have access to vital support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

West Suffolk Council, Newmarket Town Council, Godolphin, Tesco, the Newmarket Festival and Discover Newmarket have begun work with the Jockey Club, including Newmarket Racecourses, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates and its charity Racing Welfare, to combine resources to reach those most in need.

With racing suspended until the end of April and non-essential businesses, restaurants and pubs now closed, a number of residents in the town are now in a vulnerable position or at risk of becoming vulnerable in the next few weeks.

Now, mechanisms have been put in place so vulnerable individuals can get the essential supplies they need, including deliveries of food from Tesco carried out by volunteers from across the organisations. The fleet of tour buses owned by Discover Newmarket will be used to make these deliveries.

As the pandemic continues to impact the community, this groups will work to direct resources effectively through new and existing mechanisms.

Vulnerable people should contact Newmarket Town Council’s helpline on 01638 667227, where the best possible solution to their problem will be found and actioned.

Amy Starkey, Regional Director of The Jockey Club’s East Region, said: “Everybody in our community has been affected in some way by the COVID-19 outbreak but there are those for whom the coming weeks and months are going to prove extremely difficult.

“All of us at the Jockey Club take our responsibility to our community very seriously and it has been incredibly heartening to see my colleagues joining together with our partners across Newmarket to find the most effective ways to help.”

Rachel Hood, Mayor of Newmarket, added: “There has always been a wonderful sense of community in Newmarket, a town that brings people together not only from across our own country but from all corners of the world.

“I am delighted to see that during these testing times, Newmarket Town Council and West Suffolk Council are working collaboratively with our town’s key industries and employers to ensure those least fortunate among us are not forgotten as we face up to our temporary new reality.

“We are all incredibly grateful to our industry partners and community organisations who have worked tirelessly to set-up this much needed support of those that require it within our community.”

AHT future to be decided in April

Having announced earlier this month that it was facing imminent closure, the long-term future of the Newmarket-based Animal Health Trust will be decided towards the end of April.

The charity cited a period of dire financial constraints and the economic implications of coronavirus as the reasons it was in trouble.

In a statement published on its website on Monday, the charity said: “The Trustees and Executive Committee are continuing to seek out emergency funding and a final decision regarding the long-term future of the Trust will now be made towards the end of April 2020.

“Following recent guidance from the UK government on tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and in order to make use of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the AHT has closed its offices until further notice.

“No further comment will be made at this time.”