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An initial program for the first seven days of racing when the sport eventually resumes in Britain is set to be published.

The last meetings to take place were at Wetherby and Taunton on March 17, both behind closed doors.

No date has yet been set for a resumption, and it will only do so with the appropriate government approval surrounding COVID-19 protocols.

An update to trainers from the Resumption of Racing Group says the provisional program should be released next week.

“We will then subsequently publish the rest of the provisional program up until the end of June,” RORG said.

“This will be as close as possible to the original program for the period, which means we will be looking to stage roughly the same number of races by type, class and distance.

“Ahead of this, we will issue a fixture cancellation notice for all fixtures that were originally scheduled to take place during May and June. This simply reflects the fact that we will be publishing a new provisional program and does not seek to pre-empt or pre-judge any government decisions around lockdown or resumption.

“We will also look to confirm prize money values as soon as possible. In normal circumstances, racecourses provide approximately half of prize money, but with betting shops, which drive media rights income, closed and no crowds, their contributions will be significantly impacted.

“Every effort will be made to keep prize money as high as possible, but reductions below recent levels are inevitable.”

The RORG said the plan was based on a phased approach in accordance with public guidelines.

“It’s possible that not all phases will be required, but at this stage all scenarios are being considered so that we are prepared to race under whatever circumstances exist at the time that racing is able restart,” RORG said.

“In the early stages of this model, racing would resume behind closed doors under strict conditions, at locations that meet specific criteria around risk mitigation and infection control.

“This may include full quarantine conditions at secured sites if absolutely necessary, or behind closed doors racing, with sites limited to those that are able to meet strict hygiene conditions, social distancing measures and appropriate medical provision.

“The aim is to save a number of Pattern and Listed events from early spring by rescheduling them, ideally in the second half of May.

“Overall, the key principles for the black-type programme for 2020 are that the Classics are the priority, and that the flagship older-horse races will need to be slotted in around them.”

Racing in France is set to resume on May 11, with action pencilled in for Germany on May 4.

 
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