For once, racing had reason to be thankful that it has been forced to go behind closed doors, as a window in the Newmarket grandstand fell out and crashed on to seats during racing on Thursday. Officials at the track, known as the headquarters of Flat racing, were initially at a loss to explain what had happened.

“A window fell out of the Champions Gallery on the third floor, on to the level two seating for no explained reason,” said Amy Starkey, who manages Newmarket for its owners, the Jockey Club. “We are now investigating why and how it occurred.

“Clearly, it is very concerning and thankfully we are staging racing behind closed doors, so no members of the public or our team have access to the area.”

The area would, however, have been busy with racegoers on a normal race day. Had the window fallen out at such a time, those using the seats where it fell would have been lucky to avoid serious injury.



An area of level two seating is left covered in broken glass after a window fell from the floor above. Photograph: Reuters

Racing is taking place at Newmarket for the first time this year following the sport’s resumption on Monday, and several top-class contests are scheduled for the next few days, including the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday.

A photograph of broken glass covering the grandstand seats was tweeted by PA Media’s Graham Clark, one of two reporters allowed into the building under the current safety restrictions, which are designed to minimise the risk of Covid transmission. Clark said the window fell about half an hour before the first race.

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