IT’S OFFICIAL – racing is back! After a 76-day absence, the resumption of racing kicks off with a ten-race card at Newcastle tomorrow, albeit behind closed doors.
While some 369 horses were entered at the six-day stage on Tuesday and 120 horses were successfully declared at the new 72-hour stage on Friday, the Government did not officially sanction the resumption of racing until yesterday.
The Secretary Of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden said: “The wait is over. Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments.
“This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors. It’s now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart.
“This is a significant moment for British sport, By working with clinicians every step of the way, we’re creating the safest possible environments for everyone involved.”
The British Horseracing Board and all the various stakeholders such as the ROA, the RCA and the NTF, representing owners, racecourses and trainers respectively, have been working behind the scenes for weeks to ensure that when given the go-ahead, racing was ready. Being an outdoor sport and a non-contact one to boot, racing always had an edge on other sports but nevertheless it is a credit to racing’s governing bodies that horse racing is the first major sport back in the UK.
Whoever wins the opener at 1pm, the Betway Welcome Back British Racing Handicap, a 0-65 mile handicap for 4yos and upwards, will create a little piece of history and will no doubt feature in a geaky racing quiz sometime in the future!
Dean does not have any runners tomorrow as Newcastle is too far to get there and back in day, which is one of the new protocols as overnight stabling is not permitted. However, his first runner back will be Charming Kid at Kempton on Tuesday for The Cool Silk Partnership with jockey George Downing having his first ride for the yard.
Solario Racing should be up and running soon with Dancingingthewoods likely to be hitting the track in the very near future.