The British Horse Racing Authority has plans ready to put into place when the UK government allows the resumption of the sport. We have seen two separate releases from the BHA that point towards them being ready, and the ball is now firmly in the government’s corner.
However, the sport may have to push things back and wait later than they have planned to get back underway if the potential football restart and future lockdown measures are anything to go by.
Having said that, it is a huge boost for those who watch and bet on horse racing to see these plans put together, showing that the sport is doing all it can to return as soon as it is allowed.
13 Fixtures Set for the First Week of Action
The BHA has published a list of fixtures that they want to take place in the first week of racing. There is no date for these until the government gives one, and there are no venues yet, just regions where the action will take place.
A centrepiece of the plan made by the BHA has been to regionalise racing as much as possible, to cut down on the number of people coming into contact with each other. That won’t be possible for the big races scheduled, but it is possible for the daily action.
The first week of racing will see a total of 13 fixtures take place. There would be one on the first day of racing, followed by two per day afterwards. Tracks can put forward a case to host these meetings, and a decision will be made based upon what the track can offer in terms of safety and security of those taking part.
Bumper Weekends of Group Racing to Catch Up on Schedule
We are past the date for the first two classics of the season, and many other big races have been postponed, which were set to be run across April and May. However, some of those may still be seen, albeit at a different racecourse.
The BHA have put together three weekend racing programs that would bring together some of the biggest races that have been lost so far. This includes two weekends in May, where we could see classic trials such as the Nell Gwyn, Craven, Fred Darling and Dante take place.
The first week in June is the provisional home for the 1000 & 2000 Guineas, a month later than they normally take place. There are also talks to move around the Derby and Oaks to accommodate those who need to run in trials before they take place, these normally run at the beginning of June but that would be just a week or two after the trials under this new program.
That could have a knock-on effect to Royal Ascot, which could also be moved to help fit everything into the new look racing schedule.
A green light is needed from the UK government, but should that come in time then we could be set for some exciting clashes on the racecourse in the coming weeks.