Horse racing will return with a bang in June with dates set for the first two classics to take place at the Curragh on the 12th and 13th June and the Dubai Duty Free Derby confirmed for Saturday, June 27th.
The Board of Horse Racing Ireland met on Saturday and agreed a number of fixture and prize money recommendations.
Irish racing will return behind closed doors at Naas on June 8th, with National Hunt racing resuming at Limerick on June 22nd.
The 2000 and 1000 Guineas will take place at the Curragh in the first week of action, with the 2000 Guineas on Friday, June 12 and the 1000 Guineas on Saturday, June 13.
The Irish Derby retains its traditional date on Saturday, June 27, as does the Irish Oaks on Saturday, July 18. Irish Champions Weekend will take place on September 12 and 13.
For the first three weeks, racing will be restricted to nine racecourses which are more centrally located to minimise travel distances and which also have higher stable capacities given the requirement for one stable per horse under the new protocols.
Cork racecourse will not be among those used in June when it will continue to serve an important role as an HSE Test Centre for Covid-19.
International participation from outside the island of Ireland during June will be limited to the top grades of races and then only in strict compliance with Government policy on the movement of people in and out of the country.
French racing resumed under similar circumstances last week and it is expected to do likewise in Britain in early June as well.
All the fixtures will take place under the strict protocols published on Saturday by Horse Racing Ireland. One of those protocols involves the prior health screening of all those who will be in attendance at each race meeting.
Prize money will be reduced with the richest of races down by as much as fifty per cent in light of the financial situation facing the industry.
“With the confirmation on Friday of the resumption of racing on June 8, we are now publishing the fixture list and the associated details for the first three weeks of racing,” said Horse Racing Ireland CEO Brian Kavanagh.
“We are grateful to everybody for the patience they have shown during this very difficult time and we will provide every opportunity for essential personnel to fully understand and implement the return to racing protocols.”
“Regrettably, due to the financial circumstances of the industry, prize money cuts are inevitable and we have adopted a tiered approach, endeavouring to protect the grassroots of the industry as much as possible.”
“We expect there to be significant demand for horses to run once we resume, and we will aim to provide opportunities across the spectrum of age, gender and ability. We will have missed 11 weeks’ racing which will take some time to catch up. We intend to do this over the course of the rest of the year rather than immediately.”
“The resumption of racing will allow sales, trade and other ancillary services to get going again and will be widely welcomed in those areas.”
“Horse Racing Ireland are liaising closely with our international counterparts regarding the resumption of racing in those countries and issues such as protocols, international runners and prize money levels.”
June Horse Racing Fixtures
- June 8 Naas
- June 9 Leopardstown
- June 10 Navan
- June 11 Gowran Park
- June 12 Curragh
- June 13 Curragh
- June 14 Leopardstown
- June 15 Fairyhouse, Roscommon
- June 17 Gowran Park, Limerick
- June 18 Fairyhouse
- June 19 Tipperary, Gowran Park
- June 20 Naas
- June 21 Leopardstown
- June 22 Roscommon, Limerick (NH)
- June 23 Navan
- June 24 Naas, Roscommon (NH)
- June 25 Fairyhouse
- June 26 Curragh, Tipperary (NH)
- June 27 Curragh
- June 28 Curragh
- June 29 Limerick, Kilbeggan (NH)
“Fair play you are doing a brilliant job of keeping us all informed and motivated”
Image Credit: Inpho.ie