The British Horseracing Authority have confirmed they are working towards the sport resuming on June 1.
That was the earliest date given for the return of professional sport in England on Monday as the Government released full details of its roadmap for exiting the lockdown.
It features among stage two of the procedures laid out but will only be possible if sufficient progress is made in limiting the spread of the coronavirus between now and then.
There had been some hope that racing in Britain could resume as early as this weekend with a programme of potential races distributed to trainers, but a behind-closed-doors resumption on the first day of June has now become the best-case scenario.
A statement on the BHA website read: “Racing’s Executive Committee, which includes the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association, The Racehorse Owners’ Association and the National Trainers Federation, committed to plan for resumption on June 1st.
“They agreed that a timeline setting out what racing would need to do to meet that date will be published within the next seven days.
“The Resumption of Racing Group will meet later this week and ensure that race planning and the provisional fixture programme, including the scheduling of the Classics and other flagship races, meet the new government timeline.
“Racing has already drawn up plans for resumption based on minimising risk for participants through robust social distancing and strict infection control measures. Discussions with Public Health England and Chief Medical Officers from sports including horseracing will also continue.
“This has involved the development of new processes and protocols, which will require significant adjustments to ‘normal’ race-day practices. The sport will be focusing its efforts during the remainder of May on finalising and agreeing these changes across the industry and supporting everyone to understand and adopt them.”