UK RACING- Horse racing given the green light to return on June 1, 2000 Guineas set for June 6 at Newmarket


The return of racing will “lift the nation’s spirits in difficult times”, says British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust.

The government has approved the return of live sport from June 1, with Monday’s 10-race card at Newcastle the first meeting since 17 March.

The first race back will be the Brenkley Handicap Stakes at Newcastle, starting at 1:00 pm on Monday.

That will be followed by the first major showpiece to return, which is expected to be the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket on June 6 – and the race will also be shown on free-to-air television.

Races will be staged behind closed doors but Rust says it is an “important stage towards a complete return”.

“It will protect livelihoods and businesses,” he added.

“The timing is crucial for the breeding sector and we thank the government and officials at DCMS and Public Health England for their assistance in planning a safe return to racing.

“There is still a tough battle ahead before we can get fully back in business, but this is a resilient and world-leading industry and we are ready for the task.”

Newcastle’s opening meeting will be a 10-race card, with all races will be restricted to 12 runners.

Royal Ascot remains in its traditional spot in the calendar this year, beginning on 16 June.