BHA announce group racing resumption dates in Britain

Top-flight horse racing is on track to return in the United Kingdom on June 3, with the UK Government outlining plans for professional sports to resume.

While nothing is certain in the COVID-19 world we now live in, British horse racing’s bosses are readying themselves for an immediate start, if stage 2 of the government’s plans to ease restrictions comes to fruition on June 1.

The second stage of Britain coming out of lockdown includes a clause that will allow “cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”.

Horse racing has continued in some places largely unimpeded by the coronavirus, including in Australia and Hong Kong, although crowds have been unable to attend the meetings.

This has led to the British Horse Racing Authority being confident it will be safe to resume racing in a highly regulated environment. The BHA’s Flat Pattern Committee expressed this confidence by releasing a programme of pattern and Listed races to take place in the first week of June.

Under the new timetable the 2000 and 1000 Guineas would be held on June 6 and 7, but pattern racing would resume on June 3 & 4 with two Group 3 races and a Listed race to take place in the UK.

Royal Ascot will be on its scheduled dates from June 16-20, but there might be changes to the race schedule at Royal Ascot, which will be confirmed as soon as possible. 

In addition, the Derby and Oaks will be scheduled for Saturday, July 4, with the Eclipse moved back a day to the Sunday. Under these circumstances, the Eclipse would be restricted to four-years-old and upwards.
 
The exact timetable for the resumption of racing will remain subject to agreement from government and an assessment by public health officials of the risks posed by the virus at that time. 

The BHA said in its statement there still might be further changes to the scheduling, depending on when it is safe to resume.

Dates for the return of black type racing in the UK

Races to be run between 3 June and 4 June

Classic Trial (10f 3yo Group 3)
Snowdrop (8f 3+ f Listed)
Pavilion (6f 3yo Group 3)

Races to be run on Friday 5 June
 
Abernant (6f 3+ Group 3)
Brigadier Gerard (10f 4+ Group 3)
Paradise (8f 3+ Listed)
Lingfield Oaks Trial (11½f 3yo f Listed)
Lingfield Derby Trial (11½f 3yo cg Listed)
Coronation Cup (12f 4+ Group 1)

Races to be run on Saturday 6 June

2000 Guineas (8f 3yo cf Group 1)
*Dahlia (10f 4+ f Group 2)
Palace House (5f 3+ Group 3)
Sagaro (16f 4+ Group 3)
Newmarket (10f 3yo cg Listed)

(*Note: Distance change of the Dahlia to 10f)

Races to be run on Sunday 7 June

1000 Guineas (8f 3yo f Group 1)
Pretty Polly (10f 3yo f Listed)
Buckhounds (12f 4+ Listed)
Cecil Frail (6f 3+ f Listed)
Spring Trophy (7f 3+ Group 3)
Pinnacle (12f 4+ f Group 3)

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