Horse racing fans can look forward to the return of racing in the United Kingdom and Ireland in June, and plans for Royal Ascot are now starting to become clear.
Racing in Great Britain has been suspended since March 17th because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the first week of June has been pencilled in for the return of horse racing – a week ahead of the resumption of Irish racing.
One meeting in Great Britain has been provisionally scheduled for June 1, with a further two meetings each day taking place on the subsequent six days. All meetings would take place behind closed doors, but for horse racing fans, it is without doubt a step in the right direction.
Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of the racing calendar. For punters, it means five days of top quality racing, the chance to beat the bookies, and of course free bets!
Each year, many look to claim horse racing free bets to use at Ascot, and with Royal Ascot now odds-on at time of writing to be the first major British sporting event to take place behind closed doors this summer, it looks like racing fans will be able to watch the royal meeting in its scheduled slot.
Lockdown began in mid-March, and it had previously been thought that the start of Royal Ascot would have to be moved back from June 16th following the government’s announcement that no professional sport could take place in Britain before June 1st. However, following talks, it now appears that the five-day spectacle will begin on schedule and run through to June 20th.
The latest Royal Ascot developments come as the British Horseracing Authority looks to confirm dates for a number of major races, including the first four Classics of the season.
The 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas look set to be run on June 6th and 7th respectively (likely providing another opportunity to claim free bets on top quality racing), ahead of the return of Irish racing on June 8th.
Providing all goes to plan, that will then set the stage nicely for Royal Ascot.
The BHA has already said it plans to make “some changes to the order of races” at Royal Ascot, which will be confirmed in due course, while Ascot’s Director of racing, Nick Smith, recently said the royal meeting will not be an “ideal scenario” as all relevant parties try to work out a revised running order for the fixture.
The 20 Group and Listed races scheduled to take place over the five days will now be open to international runners, while “a suitable number of novice/conditions races for two-year-olds” are expected to take place in the first week of June in order to give horses a chance to run prior to Ascot.
With horse racing taking place behind closed doors for the foreseeable future, Royal Ascot will not be attended by The Queen for the first time in her 68-year reign, nor will we get to witness a Royal procession of any form. However, those looking for horse racing free bets look set to be given a huge boost – as does the racing industry as a whole – with eight of the Flat season’s Group One races set to take place from June 16-20.