May 1 return pencilled in

The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed they hope to return to action on May 1 after putting together a plan of action.

Last week, all racing in the United Kingdom was suspended until the end of April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the few days leading up to the suspension, several meetings took place behind closed doors.

Earlier this month, the horse racing community came under widespread criticism after continuing to allow large crowds into the Cheltenham Festival despite other sporting events falling by the wayside.

Now, after talks between the relevant authorities, the plan is for racing to return on May 1, initially behind closed doors.

The BHA have also slashed their monthly £3million budget to £2million.

BHA’s chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea says only flat racing will commence on that date to ease the strain on emergency services.

‘We are already anticipating that the initial return to racing is likely to be phased and almost certainly behind closed doors,’ Dunshea says.

‘This reflects the likelihood that any easing of the Covid-19 situation, and any associated restrictions and pressures on medical services, will also happen progressively.

‘With that in mind, we also expect any return to racing to begin, at least initially, with Flat racing, principally for reasons of safety and to minimise demands on emergency services.’

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