Goffs and Arqana are continuing to work towards combining their breeze-up sales with the last week in June remaining the most likely date for the auction.

The sales houses will discuss with Tattersalls plans for all European breeze-up auctions after the UK’s position on exiting lockdown is made clearer on Thursday.

Resumption of racing in the UK, Ireland and France is seen as pivotal to holding sales and the auction houses are preparing for multiple outcomes.

Arqana’s Executive Director Freddy Powell and Goffs UK Managing Director Tim Kent said: “We are adapting all the time and continuing to explore all options to ensure we provide the best marketplace possible.

“This is an evolving situation, but we will be ready with a variety of options to inform potential purchasers, whether or not they are able to attend the breeze and/or the sale itself.

“For now, our preferred option remains selling at Goffs’ Kildare Paddocks in the week of June 29 following a breeze at Naas some days before the sale, but we do not rule out any alternative that may suit better in due course.”

Work continues on the development of an online platform to be in place to support the sale and would allow buyers to participate via telephone or remotely.

The prospect of staging an online sale has accelerated Goffs and Arqana’s preparations to provide as much information as possible for absent buyers including films, detailed confirmation reports, veterinary information and analysis of the breezes.

If attendance is to be limited, a list of acknowledged buyers will be created so notes and reports by those on the ground can be circulated to purchasers who cannot attend. Goffs may also be able to provide on-site accommodation for visitors.

Goffs Group Chief Executive, Henry Beeby, and Eric Hoyeau, President of Arqana, added: “Our teams are working tirelessly to adapt and react as we plan for this joint venture. The Goffs site is the best appointed for the social distancing that will inevitably be required if we can have people at Kildare Paddocks.

“Naturally we will follow any government directives to the letter and have provisional plans in place to control the numbers in every area inside and outdoors.

“Whist we have combined our sales, vendors and purchasers should rest assured that discussions with Tattersalls will deliver a workable schedule outcome for all.”

Green light for French racing to resume

France looks poised to start racing behind closed doors on May 11 after France Galop President Edouard de Rothschild revealed on Twitter that the police had given the go-ahead for the sport to resume.

His tweet read: “We obtained and received from the Prefecture of Police in Paris authorisation to resume racing on May 11. This is great news and a real victory.”

Racing in France will begin at Longchamp with a card featuring four Group races including the Prix d’Harcourt, which is noted as being a key early-season trial for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and the Prix de la Grotte and Prix de Fontainebleau, trials for the French Guineas races.