Whilst racegoers are still unable to attend race meetings in the UK the Sport of Kings still goes on behind closed doors and local course Newmarket will be in the thick of the action over the coming weeks.
This weekend the racing gets underway at midday on Friday 24th July and features a very competitive eight-race card whilst Saturday starts 30 minutes later but has an amazing nine races!
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot is the big race this coming weekend, expect Enable trained locally by John Gosden to be favourite for that. York also has top racing on Saturday meaning that Newmarket does not make it onto the ITV racing show and can only be viewed by watching RacingTV or by watching one of the many bookmaker racing live streams.
The official going is still good to firm for Newmarket as it should be in July and not a lot of rain forecast going forward.
Racing will also be staged behind closed doors at Newmarket on Saturday 1st and Saturday 8th August with local residents asked not to use the local heath for their own exercise whenever racing is taking place because of the obvious dangers.
Of course, up to two owners per racehorse are currently allowed to attend race meetings where they have a runner under current guidelines introduced by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) earlier this month. Prime Minister Boris Johnson did hold out hope for racegoers in general earlier this week when he suggested that by October it might be possible to begin allowing crowds to attend large events again.
Glorious Goodwood next week will act as a Test Event and allow some paying racegoers with other Test Events also planned for cricket and snooker.
Setting out the next stage of the Government’s coronavirus recovery plan Johnson stated: “From October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia and allow conferences and other business events to recommence, again these changes must be done in a COVID-secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots.”
Racing fans will be hoping that the big Autumn events at Newmarket including the Cambridgeshire and Cesarewitch may yet take place in front of packed stands on the Rowley Mile.