When Will UK Racing Fixtures Resume?Horse racing meetings were halted on March 18, before the government introduced the lockdown measures. The restrictions are due to be reviewed in the first decade of May. General consensus was on horse racing to return in May but in the last week there has bee a shift towards June.
Many believe that the sport will return in UK next September, much later compared to other countries. Sweden, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and many US racetracks have continued behind closed doors, while horse racing in France has resumed on Monday 11th May.
So, when will racing resume in the UK?In its latest update, the British Horseracing Authority’s Flat Pattern Committee revealed plans to resume racing on 1st June. Only key personnel are present at the meetings, and face coverings will be mandatory. Reduction in prize money will be inevitable with no crowds on racecourses and betting shops closed.
Newcastle is expected to host the first British meeting behind closed doors on 1 June.
This is the proposed Week 1 meetings.
- 1st June: Newcastle
- 2nd June: Kempton, Newcastle
- 3rd June: Kempton, Great Yarmouth
- 4th June: Newcastle, Newmarket
- 5th June: Lingfield, Newmarket
- 6th June: Lingfield, Newcastle, Newmarket
- 7th June: Haydock, Lingfield, Newmarket
- 8th June: Chelmsford, Haydock, Lingfield
Meanwhile, Irish horse racing is set to resume behind closed doors at Naas on 8 June after a two-and-a-half-month absence. For the first 3 weeks, racing will be restricted to 9 courses which are more centrally located to minimise travel distances.
Horse Racing Returns: Key Dates
The following are the key dates:
- June 1: British racing resumes
- June 6: 2000 Guineas (British)
- June 7: 1000 Guineas (British)
- June 8: Irish racing resumes
- June 12: 2000 Guineas (Irish)
- June 13: 1000 Guineas (Irish)
- June 16-20: Royal Ascot
- June 27: Irish Derby
- July 4: Derby & Oaks
- July 5: Eclipse
Probably, races will be scheduled with a maximum of 12 runners per race, contested by senior jockeys only. That should reduce the potential risk of putting extra pressure on the NHS.
Plus, the Flat season could be extended beyond its normal end date this year, which was scheduled to be November 7.