Newmarket Racecourses 'excited' at the prospect of being part of racing's project restart
There are still some hurdles to be cleared, but Newmarket’s Rowley Mile is preparing to be one of the host venues under provisional plans to get racing restarted next month.
Last week the British Horseracing Authority revealed seven courses had been selected to host fixtures during the first eight days of the sport’s return, with Newcastle set to kick things off on June 1.
Newmarket’s first meeting is scheduled for June 4, which kicks off a run of four straight days at the track, including the QIPCO 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas on June 6 and 7 respectively.
And in a further boost to the top-level action, the Group 1 Coronation Cup – ordinarily run at Epsom – will be held at Newmarket on June 5.
All of these plans are subject to government approval, but with dates now pencilled into the diary, preparations are under way.
Amy Starkey, who runs Newmarket Racecourses as east regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “We’re delighted that the British Horseracing Authority’s provisional fixture list for the resumption of racing behind closed doors has scheduled four consecutive days of fantastic racing on the Rowley Mile.
“Racing taking place at all is of paramount importance to the racing and breeding industry as a whole and for all the livelihoods that depend on it, and nowhere does this apply more than in and around Newmarket.
“The QIPCO 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas are the first Classics of the season and hugely important races, not only for fans of racing, but also to the horseracing industry.
“It will be the first time for 17 years that Newmarket has staged racing on four consecutive days and this four-day programme also includes the Group 1 Coronation Cup.
“We’re also looking forward to staging some of our other races which should have taken place in May, including the Palace House Stakes, the Pretty Polly Stakes and the Dahlia Stakes.
“It’s important to remember that the date for a resumption of racing is still to be confirmed by the Government and will be subject to an assessment by public health officials.
“When racing can resume our priority will, as always, be the safety of all our participants and everyone at the racecourse and we’ll be putting in place every public health measure necessary.
“Our ground staff have done a fantastic job in getting the track ready for the return of racing and the course itself is in superb condition.
“We’re all looking forward to getting our season started once it’s safe and deemed appropriate to do so and I hope racing fans are as excited by the schedule as we are.”
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More by this authorLiam Apicella