Racing awaits May 7 government announcement

By Andrew Atkinson

The racing world is holding its breath – awaiting to see what will arise from the UK Government legislation on the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown – as over 19,500 deaths were reached on April 24.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced race meetings were to be cancelled on March 18, as the pandemic swept across the UK, with a new announcement set to be made on May 7.

If racing gets the go-ahead to return it will be behind closed doors.

“Work is ongoing to agree an amended fixture list and race programme beyond this point.  “Further details will be communicated within the next fortnight, to assist with planning,” read a statement from the BHA. “The amended programme will be based on the original one, as far as is possible,” the statement added.

It is touted The Investec Derby and Oaks are staged at Epsom – on the same day in July.

Flat racing’s two major Classics were postponed by the Jockey Club, along with the Qipco 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas.

The Oaks and Derby meetings annually take place on the first Friday and Saturday in June respectively.

Epsom were scheduled to get the season’s meetings underway on April 22. Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper said on Twitter: “Today should have been the Investec Spring Meeting at Epsom. The course is in good shape and will be ready to go when required. Stay safe until then.”

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