Doncaster’s St Leger Festival opened with a minute’s silence on Wednesday as a mark of respect for those who died in the terrorist attacks in America.

Flags flew at half mast andjockeys wore black armbands on racing’s first day following the atrocities in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

In America, the Keeneland Sales in Kentucky were suspended for a day. No plans have been made to abandon or postpone the Breeders’ Cup, which is due to be run at one of New York’s tracks, Belmont Park on October 27 in the wake of the terrorist attacks on America.

A spokeswoman for the Breeders’ Cup, said: “Everything is going ahead as planned right now and there has been no change at this point. We hope things will be better by then. Some of the tracks have been closed down in America because of travel problems, but, overall, racing is continuing in America.”

Following a declaration of a national day of mourning in Ireland on Friday, the Downpatrick meeting has been postponed until Saturday..

Michael Jarvis’s Ela Athena is stranded at Belmont Park, New York after finishing third in last Saturday’s Man O’ War Stakes. She was due to fly out on Monday, butthat was put back 24 hours. There is a chance she may be shipped over to Canada where the trans-Atlantic flights may start before they do in America,” said Jarvis.