At last a tiny shaft of light has appeared and we finally have a small piece of good news amongst all the devastation going on around us – Irish racing will continue!
Yesterday the Horse Racing Ireland Board met and decided to follow a schedule of one meeting per day, behind closed doors, until the 29th of March when there will be a review.
Here is the schedule of fixtures:
Friday 20: Dundalk
Saturday 21: Thurles
Sunday 22: Downpatrick
Monday 23: Naas
Tuesday 24: Clonmel
Wednesday 25: Dundalk
Thursday 26: Cork
Friday 27: Navan
Saturday 28: Curragh
Sunday 29: Limerick.
No overseas horses are allowed and any medical personnel or facilities in action at fixtures will be available for government use when needed.
If this approach proves successful it could be a model for the UK racing authorities to follow – let’s hope so anyway. Apparently there are 28,000 people employed directly or indirectly in Irish racing so it’s a huge employer and a big part of life over there, particularly in rural areas. Hopefully everyone involved can stay safe and healthy and the protocols put in place work effectively.
Irish racing is not the only sport continuing however. There is also:-
- – UK greyhound racing
- – US horse racing still mainly continues until the end of March at least
- – The Dubai World Cup horse racing is due to go ahead behind closed doors
- – Football leagues in Turkey, Australia and Brazil are continuing for the time being
So there are still a few things to bet on, even if we have lost the vast majority of sporting fixtures to the coronavirus. How long these events continue and how long it is before other events may recommence is anyone’s guess. We are living in unprecedented times.
As ever the main thing is that everyone stays safe and healthy and we hope you are managing to cope during these very difficult times.