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HRI maintain flat group horseracing pattern despite COVID-19 shutdown

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

15:56 19 May 2020

Despite losing a significant portion of the flat season Horseracing Ireland (HRI) has maintained the flat group race pattern for the season.

Horseracing in Ireland will restart at Naas on the 8th of June with severe restrictions in place, while only a handful of racecourses will be used for the first month of the season.

As HRI chairman Brian Kavanagh told Off  The Ball on Friday, the full complement of group races will be run over the remainder of the season with the majority maintaining their original dates.

HRI Changes

One of the group one races that has been rescheduled is the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh. It has been moved to July and has been opened up to three-year-olds for the first time.

There will be some changes to eligibility rules and pattern races for juveniles have been pushed back to allow the two-year-olds to get a prep run. The first race on the new juvenile pattern will be at The Curragh on June 27th.

While Cork will host the prestigious Marble Hill stakes for the first time. It will be held on July 5th it has been won by subsequent top-level winners Siskin and Caravaggio in the recent past.

HRI have published the revised list of Group races, Listed races and Premier Handicaps for the Covid 19 impacted 2020 Flat racing season and are available to view here.

HRI Chairman Brian Kavanagh says:

“The revised list of Pattern races published today will see the many of them run on their original dates and under their typical conditions, though inevitably some have had date, race conditions and even venue changes to allow them fit into the new schedule.

“Apart from the three Group 1 races normally run on Guineas weekend, all other Group 1 races in Ireland will be run on their originally scheduled dates and venues.

“The two-year-old Group race programme will start about six weeks later than normal, in early July, but again the full complement of opportunities will be run between then and season end.

“2020 will be anything but a normal year, but in the circumstances, we have tried to preserve the opportunities which the Irish race programme offers to the better horse.”

 


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