LUDLOW is primed and ready to welcome back racegoers next week as coronavirus restrictions are set to be eased.
The Shropshire course was in 'Tier 1' before the second nationwide lockdown, and the surrounding area still has some of the lowest rates of infection in the country.
Boris Johnson announced on Monday that spectators would be able to attend outside sports events from December 2.
If racecourses fall within Tier 1 areas, a maximum of 4,000 racegoers would be able to attend race meetings.
Ludlow are hopeful they will fall into the same tier as before the lockdown, but Clerk of the Course Simon Sherwood says the course will take a slow and steady approach next week.
Sherwood told Sun Racing: "We are getting things prepared and organised right now.
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"Racing like other sports is lacking an atmosphere at the moment and at Ludlow we think we create a good atmosphere.
"We can't wait to welcome racegoers back, but we will be cautious on the first day.
"Whatever crowd capacity is available next Wednesday, we will be slightly conservative in the numbers of people we have on track to ensure all the protocols are adhered to and we don't get it wrong."
He continued: "Touch wood we have been in Tier 1 but we will find out tomorrow where we sit.
"Then we will have more of an idea about numbers and if we can offer hospitality. It's fantastic and it's a huge step in the right direction."
Racing was scheduled to stage two pilot events with crowds on course earlier in the year – but a trial at Goodwood was scrapped at the last minute as were three of the four days of Doncaster's St Leger meeting pilot.
Bar the first day of the trial at Doncaster in mid-September, the last time paying customers were on a British racecourse was at Hereford and Southwell on March 16.
There are race meetings also scheduled at Lingfield, Haydock and Kempton on December 2.
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