By Andrew Atkinson

A political row has erupted in Doncaster after the St Leger racing festival in September was included in the UK Government spectators pilot scheme.

Labour MP for Doncaster Central Rosie Winterton said in the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The St Leger Festival is a hugely important event for Doncaster and the region.

“Having lobbied the Sports Minister to support the bid, I am delighted that it has been approved to host a pilot event for the return of crowds.”

The St Leger meeting gets underway on September 9 and Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said: “It is out of the control of me and the council and personally, I think the risk of Covid-19 infection is too great.

“We have been coping well in Doncaster, but this could all be put in jeopardy.”

The St Leger meeting is scheduled, with 3,640 general admissions on day one, rising to 6,202 general admissions for the following three days.

New coronovirus protocol code of practice will be in place, alongside additional facilities to allow racegoers maintain social distancing, personal hygiene and other measures.

The St Leger meeting takes place during September 9-12, with the Group 1 St Leger Stakes being the world’s oldest Classic on the final day at the Yorkshire venue, inaugurated in 1776.