A Guineas assembly in early June and the Derby and Oaks run in early July characteristic within the British Horseracing Authority’s “best-case scenario” planning for a resumption of racing.
With racing at present suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, the season’s first 4 Classics have been delayed from their standard slots within the calendar.
However, the game’s Resumption of Racing Group is working to attract up provisional plans for when racing is ready to return, with “a phased approach” to racing behind closed doorways anticipated within the rapid phases.
In a communication despatched to trainers on Friday night, the BHA stated “it is unlikely that the entire black type programme will be staged this year”, though it “will ensure that the key generation-defining races will be run, as well as safeguarding the Group One programme as much as possible”.
With Royal Ascot at present nonetheless attributable to happen in its conventional mid-June slot, the assembly might be sandwiched by the Classic playing cards, though all plans very a lot rely upon racing being given the go-ahead to renew.
The BHA stated: “Our planning would enable for the Guineas to be run in early June, and the Derby and Oaks in early July, with Royal Ascot nonetheless scheduled to happen in its present slot commencing on June 16.
“In this scenario, we would also be looking to stage several key Classic trials, and other trial races feeding into Royal Ascot, during the second half of May. We emphasise that a later restart would require these plans to be adjusted accordingly.”
The BHA concedes among the principal Group One races for older horses want to maneuver to a barely totally different date, particularly so as to accommodate the early Classics, and a few will not be open to three-year-olds this 12 months.
It provides: “This outline structure (and its likely condensed nature) will need to be based on what is collectively best for the thoroughbred and the industry as a whole. And as with the wider race programme, it is contingent on external factors and will need to be adapted based on what’s feasible in terms of when racing can commence and in what form.”
With no revenue from crowds and betting retailers probably remaining closed, there will probably be a larger reliance on the Levy Board for funding, so fixtures are more likely to be restricted and prize cash impacted.
The constraint on conferences means it’s doubtless “not all racecourses will be able to race behind closed doors or meet specific criteria around risk mitigation”.
discipline sizes will must be restricted to assist the logistics of social distancing on a raceday and to minimise the chance of incident
However, the BHA is aiming for “a standard mix of handicaps and weight-for-age races for all horses”, but it surely believes “field sizes will need to be restricted to support the logistics of social distancing on a raceday and to minimise the risk of incident”.
Such measures will restrict early alternatives to race, however extra divisions of races might be run, whereas handicaps might have non-standard score bands and be open to horses who’ve had simply two begins.
Some maiden races could also be staged for unrated horses who’ve been eradicated from normal novice and maiden occasions.
Jumps racing is at present scheduled to recommence on July 1 and the BHA is planning to base these fixtures on the unique programme e-book, though “trainers are currently being asked for details of the horses they expect to have ready to run at that time so that appropriate revisions to the programme can be made”.