A day after announcing it would precede as planned with its upcoming sales, auction house Tattersalls revealed on Tuesday that it is changing the dates of sales held in the UK in light of the ongoing coronavirus situation.

The Tattersalls Ascot March Sale, which was due to be held on Thursday, has been cancelled while the Ascot Breeze-Up Sale, slated for 31 March to April 1, and the Craven Breeze-Up Sale, set for April 13 to 15, have been postponed and merged into a combined auction that will take place in Newmarket between April 29 and May 1.

Additionally, the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-Up and Horses in Training Sale has been postponed to May 27-29.

The news comes after the British Horseracing Authority revealed earlier on Tuesday that racing in Britain will be suspended from Wednesday until the end of April.

Tattersalls will keep the changes under constant review and its Chairman, Edmond Mahony, said: “We are making these changes in response to the unprecedented circumstances arising from yesterday evening’s new government guidelines and the subsequent BHA decision to suspend British racing until the end of April.

“These decisions have not been taken lightly and we are mindful at all times of our joint responsibility to the requirements of our clients and the wider public health issues which have overtaking normal daily life throughout the world.

“Full details of the revised formats associated with the amended sales schedule will be released as soon as is practical, bearing in mind the speed at which events are constantly changing.

“In the meantime we would like to reiterate our commitment to minimising the impact of this national emergency which has engulfed us all and to stress that we will at all times endeavour to keep our clients informed of any further necessary changes affecting the wider Tattersalls group.”

Yorton incentive

Yorton Farm Stud is offering a free prize draw for all breeders to win a nomination to any of the six stallions on its roster on the back of success for the operation at last week’s Cheltenham Festival.

Easysland, who lowered the colours of Tiger Roll in the cross-country chase, is by the stud’s Gentlewave while runaway mares’ hurdle heroine Honeysuckle was by their late resident Sulamani.

David Futter, Yorton Director, said: “These are tough times for people from all walks of life, but we must keep our industry going and remain positive.

“Easysland’s victory in last week’s Glenfarclas Chase, in which he beat the great Tiger Roll, was a double triumph for us because he is by our sire Gentlewave and he is a horse that we bought in the name of Yorton Racing before he set foot on a racecourse.

“That was in line with our policy to support stock by Yorton sires. He won seven races in our colours before he was sold privately to JP McManus, who kept him with trainer David Cottin.

“Easysland has won twice since, including last week’s emphatic victory. He is now being talked of as a future Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.

“As a way of marking Easysland’s wonderful triumph we have created the Yorton Prize Draw to give breeders a shot at a nomination to any of our six stallions. It has a value of up to £3,750 and it’s completely free.

“Mare owners can enter via our website – entries close on April 10 and the winner will be announced on or before April 20.”

Kentucky Derby postponed

Churchill Downs has announced that the Kentucky Derby has been postponed from May 2 until September 5 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The new date is subject to the approval of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Bill Carstanjen, Churchill Downs Incorporated Chief Executive, said: “Throughout the rapid development of the Covid-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community.

“As the situation evolved, we steadily made all necessary operational adjustments to provide the safest experience and environment. The most recent developments have led us to make some very difficult, but we believe, necessary decisions and our hearts are with those who have been or continue to be affected by this pandemic.

“Our team is united in our commitment to holding the very best Kentucky Derby and certainly the most unique in any of our lifetimes.

“While we’re always respectful of the time-honoured traditions of the Kentucky Derby, our company’s true legacy is one of resilience, the embracing of change and unshakeable resolve.”