Racing in Ireland is to resume under strict protocols at Naas on June 8 with the Irish 2000 and 1000 Guineas at the Curragh on June 12 and June 13.
Jump racing will resume at Limerick on June 22 as a number of changes will be made to how racing operates as there will be a 48-hour declarations to assist health screening protocols.
Horse racing Ireland have also announced tiered prize money reductions across all grades.
The Irish Derby retains its traditional date on Saturday, June 27, as does the Irish Oaks on Saturday, July 18. Irish Champions Weekend will take place on September 12 and 13.
For the first three weeks, racing will be restricted to nine racecourses which are more centrally located to minimise travel distances and which also have higher stable capacities given the requirement for one stable per horse under the new protocols.
Wherever possible 8 race cards will be staged to maximise opportunities for the horse population.
Safety limits will be decided on a racecourse by racecourse basis to accommodate each track’s social distancing requirements, with a general maximum limit of 18 initially. It has been agreed that Cork racecourse will not be among those used in June when it will continue to serve an important role as an HSE Test Centre for Covid-19.
Arising from the financial situation the industry finds itself in, a number of prize money reductions will take immediate effect for June, with the possibility that further downward adjustments will be required through the rest of the year.
The new proposed prize money for Group 1 races already closed, or about to close for entry, sees the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes both cut to €750,000 (by 50% and 40% from €1.5m and €1.25m respectively) with significant reductions to all other Group 1 races throughout the year.
The 1000 and 2000 Guineas will both be worth €250,000.
General prize money reductions, initially to the end of June, are as follows:
- Base values for Group 1 Flat races cut by 30%-50%
- Base values for races above €50,000 cut by at least 25%
- Base values for races above €20,000 to €50,000 cut by 20%
- Base values for races above €15,000 to €20,000 cut by 15%
- Base values for races from €10,000 to €15,000 cut by 10%
- Minimum value of €10,000 cut by 10% to €9,000
- Entries fees for all races will be reduced in line with prize money reductions
There will be no apprentice races or claiming races in the opening two weeks, and 10lb claimers with less than six rides will not be permitted to take rides in the first fortnight.
With no racecourse saunas permitted to open under the Covid-19 protocols, the 2lb increase in weights introduced in March will continue to be applied to all races.
June Fixtures (Flat unless otherwise indicated)
June 8 Naas
June 9 Leopardstown
June 10 Navan
June 11 Gowran Park
June 12 Curragh
June 13 Curragh
June 14 Leopardstown
June 15 Fairyhouse, Roscommon
June 17 Gowran Park, Limerick
June 18 Fairyhouse
June 19 Tipperary, Gowran Park
June 20 Naas
June 21 Leopardstown
June 22 Roscommon, Limerick (NH)
June 23 Navan
June 24 Naas, Roscommon (NH)
June 25 Fairyhouse
June 26 Curragh, Tipperary (NH)
June 27 Curragh
June 28 Curragh
June 29 Limerick, Kilbeggan (NH)