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Naas to host first Irish race meeting in June return

 

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Naas will host the first fixture when racing resumes behind closed doors in Ireland on June 8, with the Irish 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas also set for the opening week.  (stock photo)

Naas will host the first fixture when racing resumes behind closed doors in Ireland on June 8, with the Irish 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas also set for the opening week. (stock photo)

Naas will host the first fixture when racing resumes behind closed doors in Ireland on June 8, with the Irish 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas also set for the opening week. (stock photo)

Naas will host the first fixture when racing resumes behind closed doors in Ireland on June 8, with the Irish 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas also set for the opening week.

Horse Racing Ireland officials have been given clearance by the Irish Government to restart the sport on that date, which at one stage looked like being June 29.

As is planned in Britain, it will be a high-profile comeback, with Classic action at the Curragh on Friday, June 12 featuring the 2,000 Guineas while the 1,000 Guineas will be held 24 hours later.

Down Royal and Downpatrick must wait a while longer for clearance un the Stormont asembley's five step plan.

The Irish Derby retains its traditional date at the Curragh on Saturday, June 27, as does the Irish Oaks on Saturday, July 18. Irish Champions Weekend will take place on September 12 and 13. Jumps racing will begin again at Limerick on June 22.

International participation will be restricted to Group One and Group Two races only for June, all of which must be in strict compliance with Government policy on the movement of people in and out of the country. It is envisaged that all black-type races will be open to international competition from the start of July.

For the first three weeks, HRI said racing will be restricted to nine racecourses "which are more centrally located to minimise travel distances and which also have higher stable capacities given the requirement for one stable per horse under the new protocols."

All fixtures will take place under the strict protocols, one of those protocols to involve the prior health screening of all those who will be in attendance at each meeting. To facilitate the efficient delivery of that, 48-hour declarations will be introduced for all races in June.

HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh said: "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 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."

Belfast Telegraph