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Racing resumption: Ayr to host first Scottish meeting on June 22

Thu 28 May 2020

Plans are being made for racing to recommence in Scotland at Ayr on June 22, subject to Government approval.

No racing has taken place in Britain since March 17, although it is hoped action will resume behind closed doors at Newcastle on Monday.

An update to trainers from the cross-industry Resumption of Racing Group on Thursday said: “Scottish Racing has today confirmed that it is making plans for resumption of racing behind closed doors on Monday June 22, in accordance with the Scottish Government’s route map for exiting lockdown.

“Discussions are taking place between Scottish Racing and the Scottish Government to support these provisional fixtures, during Phase 2 of public health restrictions.

 The full list of provisional Scottish fixtures
The full list of provisional Scottish fixtures

“This is a provisional schedule to assist with your planning, which remains subject to the public health situation in Scotland and the ongoing discussions with the Scottish Government.”

With only 3.7 per cent of all British horses in training being resident in Scotland, the five Scottish racecourses rely heavily on being able to welcome horses to race from all areas of Britain, and the protocols include detailed information for the safe movement of all horses, jockeys, racing staff and their relevant equipment.

By resuming racing, albeit behind closed doors, Scottish Racing recognises the wide range of benefits this can bring during these early stages of restrictions being lifted.

It will enable a number of the industry’s staff to be able to return to work, protect their livelihoods, and allow thousands of equine athletes to race as they have been bred and trained to do. In turn, this will reduce the burden on the taxpayer by allowing staff across racing in Scotland and the north of England to be un-furloughed and generate significant revenues to pay for public services.

Scottish Racing’s Manager, Delly Innes, said: “The public can have confidence in our ability to race behind closed doors as safely as possible when the government allows more industries back to work. As a highly regulated industry we have considerable experience of keeping any potential health and safety risks to an absolute minimum.

"We are working with Public Health officials to protect those coming back to work, the local communities in which race meetings take place and the wider public, against the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

"We are fully prepared to stage race meetings in a strictly controlled environment which fully comply with all the requirements of governmental and racing industry bodies, once they decide the time is right to resume racing.”

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