Royal Ascot Set To Go Ahead
- A Provisional Pattern Plan has scheduled a June 3 return for British Racing
Frankie Dettori riding Stradivarius to win The Gold Cup on day three of Royal Ascot 2019. (Getty)
Royal Ascot Scheduled for June 16 start
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is planning for a return next month following Monday's government announcement that professional sport will not be held in England until June 1 at the earliest.
Despite initial intentions to stage numerous high-profile stakes events over the last two weekends of May, The Racing Post reports that June 3-4 is the earliest possible return on the 'Provisional Pattern Plan' released by the BHA in the lead-up to Royal Ascot 2020 which remains scheduled to run behind closed doors between June 16 and June 20.
Nick Smith, director of racing and public affairs at Ascot explains the requirements and plans for Royal Ascot 2020.
"The important thing is that the race planning around Royal Ascot reflects the unusual circumstances in which it's going to be run," said Nick Smith.
"We must be mindful of the wider public health situation in June but we should still plan to go ahead and put together a Pattern that reflects the requirements of those involved in the sport. It will be different but will still absolutely be recognizable as Royal Ascot.
"With the Guineas much closer to the meeting than normal we'll have to work out how that affects our three-year-old races and it's obviously not an ideal situation preparing juveniles for Royal Ascot."
A statement released by the BHA on Wednesday read: "The aim remains to provide, as soon as possible, at least one Pattern or Listed opportunity covering the key distances for the different sections of the population for three-year-olds and up, with a suitable number of novice and conditions races for two-year-olds scheduled to ensure horses can have a chance to run prior to Royal Ascot.
"This provisional plan may need to be adjusted according to when and under what circumstances racing is safely able to recommence."
PROVISIONAL PATTERN PLAN
Races to be run between June 3-4:
Classic Trial (1m2f, 3yo, Group 3)
Snowdrop (1m, 3yo+ f, Listed)
Pavilion (6f, 3yo, Group 3)
Races to be run on June 5:
Abernant (6f, 3yo+, Group 3)
Brigadier Gerard (1m2f, 4yo+, Group 3)
Paradise (1m, 3yo+, Listed)
Lingfield Oaks Trial (1m3½f, 3yo f, Listed)
Lingfield Derby Trial (1m3½f, 3yo cg, Listed)
Coronation Cup (1mf, 4yo+, Group 1)
Races to be run on June 6:
2,000 Guineas (1m, 3yo cf, Group 1)
*Dahlia (1m2f, 4yo+ f, Group 2)
Palace House (5f, 3yo+, Group 3)
Sagaro (2m, 4yo+, Group 3)
Newmarket (1m2f, 3yo cg, Listed)
*Note: Distance change of the Dahlia to 1m2f
Races to be run on June 7:
1,000 Guineas (1m, 3yo f, Group 1)
Pretty Polly (1m2f, 3yo f, Listed)
Buckhounds (1m2f, 4yo+, Listed)
Cecil Frail (6f, 3yo+ f, Listed)
Spring Trophy (7f, 3yo+, Group 3)
Pinnacle (1m4f, 4yo+ f, Group 3)
Following Ascot, Epsom is set to host the Investec Derby and Oaks on July 4, after getting official local approval to stage them Classics, with normal public access to racecourse land forbidden for 24 hours.
The Group One Coral-Eclipse has been shifted back a day to July 5 and will only be open to four-year-old's and older horses.