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Due to cost, lack of interest and participation Racing Nation will go offline on 25 February 2024

Derby must avoid bookmaker backing for good of racing


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If a bookie is the only option for the Epsom Classic sponsor, it might be better to go with no sponsor at all

In its usual, almost apologetic style, the new British Flat season on turf will flicker into life at Doncaster on Saturday with the Lincoln Handicap, and this year the lack of fanfare in the country that gave the sport of organised horse racing to the world does not feel entirely misplaced.

The 2023 campaign will begin without an obvious star to pin early hopes and dreams upon, since Baaeed is already settling in to his new life as a stallion while Little Big Bear, last year’s champion juvenile colt and 2,000 Guineas favourite, did not race beyond six furlongs at two, or any later than August. Nor is there any immediate sign that Desert Crown, unraced since winning the Derby last June, will be back on track as a four-year-old this summer.

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