Cheltenham Festival 2021: Amateur jockeys unable to compete under Covid-19 guidelines

Jamie Codd on Ravenhill celebrates winning the National Hunt Chase in 2020
The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, and St James's Place Festival Hunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival are solely for amateur riders

Amateur jockeys will not be permitted to race at the Cheltenham Festival.

It is understood amateur riders will not return before 29 March, after the UK government revealed its roadmap for easing Covid-19 restrictions.

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival, which hosts three races solely for amateur jockeys, takes place from 16-19 March.

Leading amateur jockeys with previous Festival wins include Patrick Mullins, Jamie Codd, Derek O'Connor and Sam Waley-Cohen.

The British Horseracing Authority said it will work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ensure a return "as soon as possible".

On Monday, the government said grassroots sports will be allowed to return in England from 29 March.

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Tributes have been paid to Tom Foley - the trainer of legendary Irish racehorse Danoli - after his death aged 74.

Danoli was known as 'the people's champion' in his homeland and was one of the most memorable Cheltenham Festival winners when roared to victory in 1994.

As well as that novice hurdle triumph, Danoli went on to win the Irish Gold Cup for farmer-turned trainer Foley.

Former top jockey Mick Fitzgerald said: "Sorry to hear of the passing of Tom Foley. I rode a Grade One winner for him and then got beat on that horse at Cheltenham. When I came in off the track I was gutted, he said: 'Sure, that's racing'. RIP"

Danoli and trainer Tom Foley
Danoli, trained by Tom Foley, was hugely popular with Irish racing fans

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