- Ayr set to host first Scottish meeting since country’s lockdown
- Races will be conducted behind closed doors
- Proposed return date of June 22
Scottish Racing has received a boost after the country’s Resumption of Racing Group announced a return date of June 22.
Plans for the Scotland racing resumption are in line with the “Scottish Government’s route map for exiting lockdown”, a statement said on Thursday.
“Scottish Racing has today confirmed that it is making plans for resumption of racing behind closed doors on Monday June 22.
“Discussions are taking place between Scottish Racing and the Scottish Government to support these provisional fixtures, during Phase 2 of public health restrictions.
“This is a provisional schedule to assist with your planning, which remains subject to the public health situation in Scotland and the ongoing discussions with the Scottish Government.”
Scotland however faces the task of juggling health and safety as well as participation.
With less than 4% of British horses residing in Scotland, racecourses in the country rely on horses travelling from all over Britain to the five racecourse on offer.
If the Scottish government enacts a protocol which disallows foreign horses and their subsequent stable staff and jockeys to enter the country – such has been standard for other racing jurisdictions, it could be problematic for racing in Scotland.
Manager of Scottish Racing, Delly Innes was matter-of-fact about the benefits of a return to racing.
“The public can have confidence in our ability to race behind closed doors as safely as possible when the government allows more industries back to work.
“As a highly regulated industry we have considerable experience of keeping any potential health and safety risks to an absolute minimum.
“We are working with Public Health officials to protect those coming back to work, the local communities in which race meetings take place and the wider public, against the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
“We are fully prepared to stage race meetings in a strictly controlled environment which fully comply with all the requirements of governmental and racing industry bodies, once they decide the time is right to resume racing.”
The British Horseracing Authority released a document outlining their policies ahead of a return to racing from June 1.