British Racing hopes for the best as the French return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic
- Racing is expected to be reintroduced in France on Monday after lockdown
- The coronavirus pandemic has led to nearly two months of sporting inactivity
- Germany organized its first meeting behind closed doors in Hanover on Thursday
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Racing will return to France on Monday, and this can be seen as a positive for British officials who are hoping for some encouraging news of their hopes to restart the sport after Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the public on Sunday.
Racing is already back in Germany. But the fact that the resumption of the sport across the Channel came dangerously close to the last hurdle will be sobering, especially as the sport now looks like a June 8 resumption in race-friendly Ireland is the best it can hope for .
Tests for the French 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, as well as the presence of the 2019 French Derby winner Sottsass in the Prix D’Harcourt, means that French racing with a bang in a 10 race map on the Longchamp track in Paris will return, with meetings also taking place in Compiègne and Toulouse.
British racing could get a boost if the sport returns to France on Monday
But the delicate string officials are entering that Olivier Delloye, the director of the French agency Galop, will not sound fanfare. Delloye said, “I will certainly not promote racing in the general media. We must remain calm. The fact that we continue to race while other sports are still not allowed can cause tension.
“The big challenge is to make sure that all people involved in race meetings stick to the rules to make sure we don’t compromise the decision to resume.” Delloye’s comments reflect the belief that the French government’s jitters were not caused by concerns about the sport’s ability to work within the biosafety guidelines.
Some French media reports have suggested that key figures related to football – banned in France until September – may have lobbied the government to review racing, which is under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Eight days ago it was confirmed that French racing could start. Delloye added: “When we heard the first rumors last Thursday that the last government had changed their minds, I was very concerned.
Racing returned to Germany on Thursday at a closed-door meeting in Hanover
“It was a big surprise because everything was fine. Maybe it’s the difference that has been made between racing and other big sports. ‘
Racing in Paris – a hot spot for Covid-19 – has been cleared by the police.
Delloye said that between 200 and 300 will attend Longchamp.
There is one groom per horse, a trainer or his representative, and no owners.
Everyone on the track is temperature tested, while jockeys wear masks before and during races.
However, unlike the system believed to be proposed by British Racing, there is no pre-race testing regime. There will also be 18 runners in four of the Longchamp races, while races in Britain will initially be limited to 12 runners.