Irish racing will return behind closed doors at Naas on June 8, with the Irish 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas rescheduled for June 12 and 13 after Horse Racing Ireland revealed its revised fixture list on Sunday.
This year’s Irish Derby retains its June 27 date and the Irish Oaks will be held on its scheduled slot of July 18, with Irish Champions Weekend taking place on September 12- 13.
The Guineas races, Irish Derby and Irish Oaks are among the top-level events that have had their prize funds cut. Both the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas will be worth €250,000 while the Irish Derby has been reduced by 50% to €750,000 and the Irish Champion Stakes purse cut by 40% to €1.25m.
International participation will be restricted to Group 1 and Group 2 races during June, which is in strict compliance with the Irish government’s policy on the movement of people in and out of the country. It is hoped that all black type races will be open to international competitors from July.
Those attending each race meeting will have to adhere to prior health screening while 48-hour declarations will be introduced for all races next month.
The first three weeks of the resumption will be restricted to nine racecourses that are centrally located in order to minimise travel distances, as well as having higher stable capacities to adhere to the requirement of one stable per horse under HRI’s new protocols.
Eight-race cards will be staged to maximise opportunities for horses wherever possible and safety limits will be decided on a racecourse by racecourse basis for social distancing.
In the opening two weeks there will be no apprentice races or claiming races, while 10lb claimers with less than six rides will not be permitted to take rides. As no saunas are allowed to open under the Covid-19 protocols, the 2lb increase in weights introduced in March will continue to be applied.
Due to the financial situation the industry finds itself in, a number of prize-money reductions have been put in place for June. HRI has warned of the possibility of further adjustments in 2020.
The reductions are as follows:
- Base values for Group 1 Flat races cut by 30%-50%
- Base values for races above €50,000 cut by at least 25%
- Base values for races from €20,000 to €50,000 cut by 20%
- Base values for races from €15,000 to €20,000 cut by 15%
- Base values for races from €10,000 to €15,000 cut by 10%
- Minimum value of €10,000 cut by 10% to €9,000
- Entries fees for all races will be reduced in line with prize-money reductions
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “With the confirmation on Friday of the resumption of racing on June 8, we are now publishing the fixture list and the associated details for the first three weeks of racing.
“We are grateful to everybody for the patience they have shown during this very difficult time and we will provide every opportunity for essential personnel to fully understand and implement the return to racing protocols.
“Regrettably, due to the financial circumstances of the industry, prize-money cuts are inevitable, and we have adopted a tiered approach, endeavouring to protect the grassroots of the industry as much as possible.
“We expect there to be significant demand for horses to run once we resume and we will aim to provide opportunities across the spectrum of age, gender and ability. We will have missed 11 weeks’ racing, which will take some time to catch up. We intend to do this over the course of the rest of the year rather than immediately.
“The resumption of racing will allow sales, trade and other ancillary services to get going again and will be widely welcomed in those areas.
“Horse Racing Ireland are liaising closely with our international counterparts regarding the resumption racing in those countries and issues such a protocols, international runners and prize-money levels.”
JUNE FIXTURES (Flat unless otherwise indicated)
June 8 Naas
June 9 Leopardstown
June 10 Navan
June 11 Gowran Park
June 12 Curragh
June 13 Curragh
June 14 Leopardstown
June 15 Fairyhouse, Roscommon
June 17 Gowran Park, Limerick
June 18 Fairyhouse
June 19 Tipperary, Gowran Park
June 20 Naas
June 21 Leopardstown
June 22 Roscommon, Limerick (NH)
June 23 Navan
June 24 Naas, Roscommon (NH)
June 25 Fairyhouse
June 26 Curragh, Tipperary (NH)
June 27 Curragh
June 28 Curragh
June 29 Limerick Kilbeggan (NH)