Which European country will be first to start racing again?

23-April-2020
23-April-2020 12:50
in General
by Admin

France Galop tentatively set horse racing return for May 11

Horse racing fans can rejoice, at least in France, as the country could resume events in May. It was announced yesterday that  France Galop could reinstate horse racing from May 11, ending an almost two-month suspension of races in Europe. Horse racing punters, starved to a diet of All-Weather US racing, are growing with excitement over the return of big-time turf racing, and British bookmakers have responded accordingly.UK punters can use bet365 offers to wager on the horses they believe will win when events return in France.

France Galop will invoke a number of restrictions on race days including holding events behind closed doors. “Only the trainer, jockey and one groom will be permitted on the racecourse for each runner” a report from the Racing Post has stated.

In addition to being run behind closed doors, French races will only feature jockeys and horses based in France. It is hoped that preventing competitors from other nations will limit the spread of the coronavirus. The good news for jockeys and horses based outside of France is a return could be on the cards for the end of May. 

The return of horse racing would help the country’s sports sector go back to some form of normality. It would also give organisers of October’s Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hope that France’s most prestigious horse race will be run as usual. However, there are no guarantees that the Arc will be run with fans present.

Some of France's biggest Jumps races are still under threat however. The racing programme will be adapted to exclude racecourses that cannot comply with the safety requirements. What price the provincial steeplechases at Lion d'Angers and Craon that often draw larger crowds than those in the Parisian basin? The key date for restarting on May 11 may very likely be linked to the very valuable races staged on May 16-17 at Autueil, that include the Grand Steeplechase de Paris.

 

 

Which countries are still racing?

France would not be the first country to resume horse racing after lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The United Kingdom was one of the first countries to stop horse racing after the Cheltenham Festival in March. Organisers have been lambasted by selected media for going ahead with the race festival, even as recently as this week's Guardian, but that hasn’t stopped the possibilities of Royal Ascot being held in June as well, albeit behind closed doors.

Although Ireland had initially continued on, the country closed shop in early April. According to The Irish Times, it would only take Ireland horse racing authorities 10 days to get the sport back up and running. France’s potential May 11 return may be a catalyst to Ireland also setting a date for a post-lockdown comeback.

The United States is still holding races although it is on a state-by-state basis. California’s Santa Anita Racecourse was shut down but in Florida, races are still going ahead. Florida’s government has controversially allowed certain businesses to run and labelled them as essential. This includes horse racing and even the WWE. The majority of the East Coast jumps fixtures which punctuate the early summer look highly unlikely to take place.

Tampa Bay Downs continues to hold races which are being bet on by horse racing punters around the globe. Horse racing in the US is very different than in other countries and major racecourses also act as stable centres and training venues. Santa Anita Racecourse in California, for example, stables around 2,000 horses. This means every day operations at racecourses in the US must continue regardless if there is racing or not. This type of model would allow UK racing to restart, using locations with the ability to house large volumes of horses for multi-day fixtures. Lingfield and Newcastle have been mentioned alongside Newmarket, where some 2,000 horses are trained in the town anyway.

Horse racing in America has been so huge for punters around the globe that a small obscure racetrack in Nebraska called Fonner Park has become the epicentre of racing. France Galop’s hopes of a May return might be the catalyst horse racing needs for a comeback in other countries. 

Nevertheless, UK racing fans looking for a swift return of Jumps action will be disappointed. The BHA is not planning a resumption of Jump racing in the UK before July 1, and Galway announced only this week that the August festival will be curtailed and closed to the general public.

Next Event

When?

Next season fixtures to be confirmed by September 1st

 

 

 

 

Where?

Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4

 

Latest News

Which European country will be first to start racing again?

23-April-2020
23-April-2020 12:50
in General
by Admin

France Galop tentatively set horse racing return for May 11

Horse racing fans can rejoice, at least in France, as the country could resume events in May. It was announced yesterday that  France Galop could reinstate horse racing from May 11, ending an almost two-month suspension of races in Europe. Horse racing punters, starved to a diet of All-Weather US racing, are growing with excitement over the return of big-time turf racing, and British bookmakers have responded accordingly.UK punters can use bet365 offers to wager on the horses they believe will win when events return in France.

France Galop will invoke a number of restrictions on race days including holding events behind closed doors. “Only the trainer, jockey and one groom will be permitted on the racecourse for each runner” a report from the Racing Post has stated.

In addition to being run behind closed doors, French races will only feature jockeys and horses based in France. It is hoped that preventing competitors from other nations will limit the spread of the coronavirus. The good news for jockeys and horses based outside of France is a return could be on the cards for the end of May. 

The return of horse racing would help the country’s sports sector go back to some form of normality. It would also give organisers of October’s Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hope that France’s most prestigious horse race will be run as usual. However, there are no guarantees that the Arc will be run with fans present.

Some of France's biggest Jumps races are still under threat however. The racing programme will be adapted to exclude racecourses that cannot comply with the safety requirements. What price the provincial steeplechases at Lion d'Angers and Craon that often draw larger crowds than those in the Parisian basin? The key date for restarting on May 11 may very likely be linked to the very valuable races staged on May 16-17 at Autueil, that include the Grand Steeplechase de Paris.

 

 

Which countries are still racing?

France would not be the first country to resume horse racing after lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The United Kingdom was one of the first countries to stop horse racing after the Cheltenham Festival in March. Organisers have been lambasted by selected media for going ahead with the race festival, even as recently as this week's Guardian, but that hasn’t stopped the possibilities of Royal Ascot being held in June as well, albeit behind closed doors.

Although Ireland had initially continued on, the country closed shop in early April. According to The Irish Times, it would only take Ireland horse racing authorities 10 days to get the sport back up and running. France’s potential May 11 return may be a catalyst to Ireland also setting a date for a post-lockdown comeback.

The United States is still holding races although it is on a state-by-state basis. California’s Santa Anita Racecourse was shut down but in Florida, races are still going ahead. Florida’s government has controversially allowed certain businesses to run and labelled them as essential. This includes horse racing and even the WWE. The majority of the East Coast jumps fixtures which punctuate the early summer look highly unlikely to take place.

Tampa Bay Downs continues to hold races which are being bet on by horse racing punters around the globe. Horse racing in the US is very different than in other countries and major racecourses also act as stable centres and training venues. Santa Anita Racecourse in California, for example, stables around 2,000 horses. This means every day operations at racecourses in the US must continue regardless if there is racing or not. This type of model would allow UK racing to restart, using locations with the ability to house large volumes of horses for multi-day fixtures. Lingfield and Newcastle have been mentioned alongside Newmarket, where some 2,000 horses are trained in the town anyway.

Horse racing in America has been so huge for punters around the globe that a small obscure racetrack in Nebraska called Fonner Park has become the epicentre of racing. France Galop’s hopes of a May return might be the catalyst horse racing needs for a comeback in other countries. 

Nevertheless, UK racing fans looking for a swift return of Jumps action will be disappointed. The BHA is not planning a resumption of Jump racing in the UK before July 1, and Galway announced only this week that the August festival will be curtailed and closed to the general public.

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