BHA reveals proposed big-race schedule for return to racing

The Authority plans to stage a host of classic trials on its opening weekend.
The Authority plans to stage a host of classic trials on its opening weekend.

The British Horseracing Authority has published a proposed plan for the resumption of racing in Britain, which could see the Flat season kick-started with two bumper weekends of racing action under a "best case scenario".. 

It's still unclear when the sport will be able to resume at the moment, though the Authority is keen to ensure that racing is able to restart at the earliest possible opportunity, and as a result a sub-group of the Flat Pattern Committee has proposed a suitable pattern programme to work around any potential restrictions.

Under the plans, the season would begin on the penultimate weekend of May with a host of rearranged classic trials, followed by pattern races for older horses a week later. The Guineas would then take place the following weekend at the beginning of June, allowing for Royal Ascot to take place in its traditional slot, while the Derby and the Oaks have been pencilled in for early July. 

The proposals arrived on the same day that the BHA’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Jerry Hill, and figures from other major sports met with the Government to discuss the principles around the safe resumption of sport, and the authority released a statement, which read;

"Under our best-case scenario planning (and subject to advice from public health authorities), the aim is to rescue a number of lost Pattern and Listed events from the early part of the spring and stage them during the second half of May and early June if possible.

"It is possible that the races listed below may not be staged at their traditional venues and may need to be hosted at alternative racecourses. Again, this is dependent on wider circumstances, the available fixtures and the public health guidance in place at the time.

"It is also likely that racing will be restricted to domestic (GB trained) runners only, initially at least until 30 May, in line with a similar approach taken by other international racing jurisdictions. France has confirmed that no foreign runners will be permitted until 1 June; with Germany last night extending its restriction on foreign runners until at least 31 May (from 22 May).

"In the early stages of this model, racing would resume behind closed doors under strict conditions, at locations that meet specific criteria around risk mitigation and infection control. This may include full quarantine conditions at secured sites if absolutely necessary, or behind closed doors racing, with sites limited to those that are able to meet strict hygiene conditions, social distancing measures and appropriate medical provision.

"Under the strictest infection control scenarios, attendance at the site(s) would be limited to staff essential to delivering the race fixture. These restrictions on personnel will be continually reviewed and gradually eased to accommodate connections, including owners and trainers, in line with Government guidance.

"All locations will need to adhere to stringent medical and risk mitigation protocols, to the satisfaction of the BHA Chief Medical Adviser, to minimise the risk of injury and incident and reduce any unnecessary pressures on local NHS provision."

The BHA's provisional plan

Weekend 1 - 23 & 24 May

Pavilion (6f 3yo Group 3)
Nell Gwyn (7f 3yo f Group 3)
Craven (8f 3yo cg Group 3)
Greenham (7f 3yo cg Group 3)
Fred Darling (8f 3yo f Group 3)
Brigadier Gerard (10f 4+ Group 3)
Conqueror (8f 4+ f Listed)
Pinnacle (12f 4+ f Group 3)
Sagaro (16f 4+ Group 3)
Aston Park (12f 4+ Group 3)
Paradise (8f 4+ Listed)

Weekend 2 - 30 & 31 May

Lockinge (8f 4+ Group 1)
Palace House (5½f 3+ Group 3)
Yorkshire Cup (14f 4+ Group 2)
Dante (10f 3yo Group 2)
Musidora (10f 3yo f Group 3)
Cecil Frail (6f 3+ f Listed)
Spring Trophy (7f 3+ Group 3)
Middleton (10f 4+ f Group 2)

Weekend 3 - 6 & 7 June

2000 Guineas (8f 3yo cf Group 1)
1000 Guineas (8f 3yo f Group 1)
Coronation Cup (12f 4+ Group 1)
Pretty Polly (10f 3yo f Listed)
Newmarket (10f 3yo cg Listed)
Bronte Cup (14f 4+ f Group 3)

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