Bettors back Cheltenham Festival to go ahead next as racecourse says it's full speed ahead. But Coronavirus could still impact the Grand National, Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics...
"In the event that the Cheltenham Festival was postponed either in its entirety or in part for any reason, there are contingencies already in place to re-stage it later in the season."
The Cheltenham Festival (10-13 March) is 1.4640/85 - a 68% chance - to go ahead next week in spite of escalating concerns about the Coronavirus.
The market was opened last week as it emerged that the British Horseracing Authority had put contingencies in place to re-stage the Festival later in the season if it were deemed too risky to take place next week.
Betfair has also opened a 'Will Aintree go ahead on April 2?' market, and the early money has been for 'no', a 1.68/13 chance (as of March 5, 11:30), with 'yes' trading at 2.68/5.
Two cases confirmed in Gloucestershire
Since the BHA announcement, the odds on the Festival being called off have drifted to 3.55 (28%) even though two cases of the virus were confirmed in Gloucestershire, including one in Tetbury which is just over 20 miles from Prestbury Park.
A spokesperson for the racecourse said on Monday that it "remains full speed ahead for The Festival".
Last week, on Betfair's Weighed In podcast, our columnist Kevin Blake revealed he had spoken to BHA chief executive Nick Rust on the issue.
If Cheltenham is postponed this year it will be the first time the Festival has not gone ahead as planned since 2001, when it was hit by the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
Coronavirus threat to Euro 2020 and Olympics
Serie A fixtures in Italy have already been postponed after a Coronavirus outbreak in the north of the country, while Ireland's Six Nations match against Italy in Dublin on March 7 has been called off.
There are concerns too about summer sporting events, including the Euros football championships, part of which is scheduled to be played in London, and the Olympics in Tokyo.
It's early days for both markets, and the situation regarding the virus is moving fast, but money is already coming in for the cancellation of the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee are meeting on Tuesday (March 3) to discuss the issue.
It's currently 1.664/6 that the Games opening ceremony will not take place in the Japanese capital on 24 July, while 'no' is also the favourite in the 'Will Euro 2020 kick off as scheduled?' market.
Yes/No - Market rules
This market is for the initial scheduled meeting. Rearranged meetings taking place on a different date, surface or at a different venue will not be relevant to this market. This market will be settled as YES if at least one race is completed under the Rules of Racing, excluding Walkovers
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