It seems like it’s been a very long time since we saw any racing action. In fact, the Cheltenham Festival was the last major event to go ahead before the break. Thankfully there is now some good news. Racing will return but with very strict guidelines and behind closed doors.
Unlike Ireland, the UK has no fixed date from which specific sports will able to resume. That said, the BHA is working towards restarting on June 1, the earliest point at which the UK government will consider a return of professional sport.
Their Irish counterparts are ramping up for racing to begin on June 8th. That date was brought forward from June 29th due to the importance of the industry to the economy. Both governing bodies, the BHA and HRI (Horse Racing Ireland) have revised their calendars and outlined provisional schedules.
UK Racing Schedule
If the plans go ahead for the restart the first racing action will take place at Newcastle on June 1st. This will be an eight race card on the All-Weather track and will be followed up the following day with a second meeting at Newcastle as well as an eight-race card on the all-weather at Kempton.
Racing will continue on June 3rd at Kempton as well as at Yarmouth which will hold the first turf meeting since the break in racing. That will feature a nine-race card, including four races for older horses.
Races usually held at Ascot have been moved and instead we will see the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes run at Newcastle on June 4th and the Group 3 Abernant Stakes (2.25) and the Listed Paradise Stakes (3.00), run at Newmarket on June 5th.
Haydock Racecourse enters the frame on June 7th. They are set to hold the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes which has been moved from Sandown.
The current BHA schedule only takes into account racing until June 8th. Details on racing for the rest of the month are due to be published very soon. However, this is also the point at which racing in Ireland will commence.
It’s great news for horse racing fans, particularly those who love to have a flutter and are looking to claim the latest racing free bet offers. So if you’ve been missing the racing there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.
Leopardstown Kicks Off Racing In Ireland
June 9th marks the big day for racing in Ireland. First up are the 1,000 Guineas Trial and the Listed 2,000 Guineas Trial, both of which will be held at Leopardstown.
In a bid to make the transition easier for the industry, initially, there will only be one meeting per day in Ireland. Racing will be restricted to nine tracks to minimise travel. Action returns to The Curragh on June 12th for two days when The Irish 1,000 Guineas is listed as the feature race on day two.
Races are planned later in the month for Fairyhouse, Roscommon, Naas, and Limerick which will no doubt be a welcome boost for all concerned. The Irish racing industry is a huge part of its country’s economy employing over 14,000 people. Worth over €1 billion per annum, racing can be dated back as far as 1685 when Downpatrick Racecourse became the first course to hold a meeting.
While racing is an integral part of the industry, breeding is also imperative. There are 96,000 horses in Ireland with a population of more than 34,000 thoroughbreds and Ireland is the third largest breeder of thoroughbreds in the world and the largest breeder in the EU. Getting everything back to as normal as possible is now of paramount importance.
Racing Around The World
For those of you that simply cannot wait until June 1st for a bit of racing action, there are still some countries hosting meetings. Australia, the USA and France are all currently operating under strict guidelines.
The French have had to re-schedule some races at the last minute after being forced to close its racecourses in Paris. With Longchamps out of commission, Deauville will now host the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches. Vichy and Lyon Parilly have also inherited some of the bigger races which will take place this week.