Stellar programme planned for British resumption

Racing in Britain could return with a bang if getting the green light to resume this month, with tentative proposals put forward by the BHA highlighting a potentially mouthwatering feast of top class action for starved racing fans.

The plans, developed by a sub-group of the Flat Pattern Committee, would see a number of high-quality contests take place in the lead-up to the Qipco 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas, which would be run on the first weekend in June.

Should racing be cleared to resume by the middle of the month, a number of the races deemed most important will take place on the weekend of May 23-24 and May 30-31 and most likely be restricted to domestic runners only.

The BHA’s chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill and his counterparts from other leading sports met government officials on Friday to discuss how action could safely return when receiving appropriate approval from ministers.

The first weekend of racing’s potential return would see the Craven Stakes, Nell Gwyn, Brigadier Gerard and Sagaro Stakes salvaged, while races such as the Lockinge, Yorkshire Cup, Dante and Middleton Stakes could take place the following weekend.

The Coronation Cup is in line to be run on the same weekend as 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas in early June.

In an update to stakeholders, the BHA said the proposals were part of their “best-case scenario planning” and may need to be adjusted when further details of racing’s resumption emerge.

Meanwhile, Churchill Downs, which would usually be seeing 150,000 spectators come through its gates today for the Kentucky Derby, is set to resume racing behind closed doors on May 16.

America’s biggest race has been rescheduled for September.

However, racing officials in Germany were dealt a blow earlier today with confirmation that Monday’s intended return date at Dortmund was postponed, having failed to receive the necessary legislative approval.

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