Following positive meetings with government officials last week, racing in Britain is currently working towards a resumption date of May 15th.
There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks as to when Horse Racing will return to Britain and Ireland, and here at Lucrative Racing been watching from the sidelines for signs of a confirmed date. No doubt you my have been doing the same, but unfortunately there has been little clarity up to now with the country still officially on lock-down.
However, yesterday it was announced that the BHA are confident action can take place within a week of any clearance being given, with May 15th being the earliest start date if the government agrees to allow racing to continue "behind closed doors" this week.
It's important to state that, at time of writing, this is very much a best-case scenario and hangs on the governments decision. However, the odds for Betfair's "UK racing to resume before June 1st" market are currently 1.54, meaning the odds are in our favour that we'll see a return to action this month.
Furthermore, we could be in store for two weekends of "Blockbuster" action if racing does indeed resume mid-month.
The "best-case scenario" plans, developed by a sub-group of the Flat Pattern Committee, involve the running of several high-profile stakes races in the lead-up to the first Classics of the season, the Qipco 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas, on the first weekend in June.
Should racing be cleared to resume by the middle of the month, a number of the races deemed most important will take place on the weekend of May 23-24 and May 30-31 and most likely be restricted to domestic runners only.
Here's the "best case scenario" for major races, as published on the Racing Post website:
Provisional Horse Racing Fixtures For The Last Two Weekends In May:
Weekend 1 – May 23-24
Pavilion (6f, 3yo, Group 3)
Nell Gwyn (7f, 3yo, f, Group 3)
Craven (1m, 3yo, c&g, Group 3)
Greenham (7f, 3yo, c&g, Group 3)
Fred Darling (1m, 3yo, f, Group 3)
Brigadier Gerard (1m2f, 4+, Group 3)
Conqueror (1m, 4+, f, Listed)
Pinnacle (1m4f, 4+, f, Group 3)
Sagaro (2m, 4+, Group 3)
Aston Park (1m4f, 4+, Group 3)
Paradise Stakes (1m, 4+, Listed)
Weekend 2 – May 30-31
Lockinge (1m, 4+, Group 1)
Palace House (5½f, 3+, Group 3)
Yorkshire Cup (1m6f, 4+, Group 2)
Dante (1m2f, 3yo, Group 2)
Musidora (1m2f, 3yo, f, Group 3)
Cecil Frail (6f, 3+, f, Listed)
Spring Trophy (7f, 3+, Group 3)
Middleton (1m2f, 4+, f Group 2)
Provisional Horse Racing Fixtures For The First Weekend Of June:
2,000 Guineas (1m, 3yo, c&f, Group 1)
1,000 Guineas (1m, 3yo, f, Group 1)
Coronation Cup (1m4f, 4+, Group 1)
Pretty Polly (1m2f, 3yo, f, Listed)
Newmarket Stakes (1m2f, 3yo, c&g, Listed)
Bronte Cup (1m6f, 4+, f, Group 3)
The resume date for Irish Horse Racing is less clear at this stage, with potential dates ranging from a best-case of May 18th, but potentially as late as June 29th. Hopefully we'll receive some further clarification this week.
Currently, the first three Irish racing classics - the Irish 2,000 Guineas (May 23), Irish 1,000 Guineas (May 24) and Irish Derby (June 27) - are still scheduled to run at Curragh, assuming the Irish Racing Board is given the go ahead.