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'Racing Post' to suspend publication

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'The ever-changing nature of the virus means that just two weeks after their busiest time of the year, when extensively covering the four-day Cheltenham Festival, the paper now faces an indefinite time in the wilderness.' (stock photo)

'The ever-changing nature of the virus means that just two weeks after their busiest time of the year, when extensively covering the four-day Cheltenham Festival, the paper now faces an indefinite time in the wilderness.' (stock photo)

'The ever-changing nature of the virus means that just two weeks after their busiest time of the year, when extensively covering the four-day Cheltenham Festival, the paper now faces an indefinite time in the wilderness.' (stock photo)

The 'Racing Post' have "temporarily suspended publication" with today's edition set to be the last for the foreseeable future and the first time racing's flagship daily newspaper hasn't been printed since its foundation in 1986.

Editor Tom Kerr insisted that they "have been left with no other choice" than to cease printing for the time being with racing in Ireland and the UK forced to cancel and facing an uncertain future amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 outbreak will see many staff at the 'Racing Post' "temporarily stood down" but Kerr outlined that those who are let go will "utilise the job retention scheme announced by the Government until the paper returns".

Irish racing had been flying the flag for the past week with racing behind closed doors keeping the 'Racing Post' ticking over but Tuesday's announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to cancel such sporting events put paid to racing on these shores until April 19 at the earliest.

Irish greyhound racing also fell by the wayside and with those decisions coming just a week after the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) cancelled racing until May at least, the 'Racing Post' were forced to make some difficult calls.

The ever-changing nature of the virus means that just two weeks after their busiest time of the year, when extensively covering the four-day Cheltenham Festival, the paper now faces an indefinite time in the wilderness.

A skeleton staff will continue to update their thriving digital platforms with their hugely popular 'Racing Post' app one of the most trusted sources of equine information by punters and racing fans alike.

Kerr was keen to stress that a return for racing in Britain and Ireland will also coincide with a comeback for the 'Racing Post'.

"At some point in the coming weeks or months, when the worst of this disease has passed, horse racing will resume. When racing is back, the 'Racing Post' newspaper will be back as well," he said.

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