Horse Racing Ireland has announced that the BoyleSports Irish Grand National will not go ahead in 2020.

The 2019/2020 National Hunt season came to an early close when racing was suspended on 24 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the race's traditional Easter Monday running on 13 April a casualty.

Although it had been intended to run a rescheduled Irish Grand National as part of an enhanced National Hunt Programme in the autumn, the HRI said that with unlimited attendances at race meetings unlikely "in the current Covid-19 context"  it had decided to cancel this year's running of the €500,000 long-distance handicap.

The cancellation will see prize money lifts to two of the winter’s big staying handicap chases, the Ladbrokes Troytown at Navan on 8 November and the Bar One Porterstown Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on 29 November.

Jason Morris, Director of Racing at HRI, said: "The decision not to run the BoyleSports Irish Grand National was made to give owners and trainers as much notice as possible, and allows connections firm up their plans for the winter with some certainty.

Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: "The BoyleSports Irish Grand National is known by many as the 'People’s Race’ so to stage the race at Fairyhouse without that huge community of locals and racing fans just wouldn’t feel the same. I know that the race will return as big as ever in 2021 and would like to sincerely thank BoyleSports for their loyal support of the race

"I’m delighted to see that the Bar One Porterstown Handicap Chase, which features on an incredible day’s racing here on 29 November, with three Grade Ones alongside it, will benefit from a prize-money boost."