IT is a multi-billion pound industry which last week spluttered to a halt and no-one could even blame Brexit.

Instead a virus laid British horse racing low, with the sport’s authorities shutting it down for six days in response to an outbreak of equine influenza.

Yesterday at Musselburgh racecourse, racing showed how resilient its people are with a display of bouncebackability. What was once the Cinderella course of Scottish racing had its day in the spotlight when plenty of press people and several camera crews turned up to see racing resume on the island of Great Britain.

READ MORE: Why cancelling horseracing over equine flu was the correct call

There was a palpable air of relief around the East Lothian track that racing was back on again, but the fear of further disruption is not over yet with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) still carrying out thousands of tests on horses and stables.

The Musselburgh management offered free entry to the track for the day and a better than expected crowd turned up for the official re-launch of the sport in Scotland.

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Musselburgh lost its richest ever jumps meeting at the weekend, but while saying it had been “disappointing”, racecourse manager Bill Farnsworth said he was glad the shutdown is over for now.

“It’s good to be back racing,” said Farnsworth, who was at his post despite having sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung in a recent fall from his horse.

He said: “The worst thing was the uncertainty because nobody knew quite how long we were going to be shut down, and while we have problems still, at least we know the worst is behind us and we can look forward to the Cheltenham Festival.”

Bert Logan, local bookmaker and doyen of the Musselburgh betting ring, added: “For the on-course bookmakers, it would have been drastic if this had happened in the summer but I think we can get through this.

“Personally, I am looking forward to the Scottish Grand National at Ayr most of all.”

Scotland’s leading racing journalist and pundit, Gordon Brown, acknowledged that some people had criticised the BHA for over-reacting, but he was in no doubt the shutdown decision was correct.

He said: “Those who were moaning – would they have been moaning if, say, we had gone on to have 50 cases? Instead there’s just a handful.

“Equine flu is a serious disease, and I think the BHA have got it right. So far we have actually lost fewer jumps meetings in Scotland than last season.”

Leading Scottish trainer Jim Goldie added: “We are used to losing meetings in the winter due to bad weather. We have had to do more veterinary work and instruct the staff about biosecurity.

“It’s disruptive and everyone has had to work very hard, but racing moved very quickly to deal with it.

He continued: “I actually got a call late at night after Ayr races last week and I was told racing could be called off – I thought it was a wind up, but the powers that be moved very swiftly and it seems to have worked.

“Racing relies for publicity on the big festivals like Cheltenham next month and if the festival goes ahead as looks likely then the BHA will get a big thumbs up from me.”

Several of the leading figures in racing – though none on the record – have suggested that the source of the British outbreak was a horse or horses from Ireland where the racing authorities are treating their equine flu outbreaks on a yard-by-yard basis, which will mean that big Irish stables will have been able to have an uninterrupted preparation for Cheltenham.

“I wouldn’t be betting against the Irish next month,” said one source.

On a day when the number of runners was understandably small, punters soon got a swift lesson to remind them of the unpredictable nature of their sport as the very first race went to 9-2 shot Copper Gone West instead of the red-hot 1-4 favourite Poperinghe Ginger.

Yep, racing’s back.