IT was a year like no other.

No racing between March 16th and May 11th; prize money cuts for all except the smallest races, the most drastic reductions coming in Group 1 flat races where rewards fell by 40%; no spectators (or even owners) allowed for two months at the start of the summer and another month and a half from November; midsummer crowds restricted to 5,000 and October attendances, including for the Arc and the Auteuil showpieces, limited to 1,000.