Naas track manager Eamonn McEvoy pictured in the marked out parade ring for social distancing ahead of racing returning on June 8 in Ireland following the lockdown due to Covid-19. Photo Healy Racing
More than half of the fixtures lost while Irish racing was in lockdown due to Covid-19 will be saved, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) revealed today as they published a new schedule for August through to December.
Following the previously announced June and July schedules, which featured nine extra race meetings, a further 39 will be added in the last five months.
This will restore 48 of the 87 fixtures that were lost between the end of March and next Monday’s resumption of racing at Naas. The total number of fixtures now scheduled for 2020 will be 331 compared to the original allocation of 370 for the year, a decrease of 39. There will be an increase to the number of fixtures every month with September seeing an extra 11 meetings compared to the original fixture list, and 10 additional fixtures set for October.
The Flat turf season is extended by a week and will now end at Naas on Saturday, November 7. There are also two extra meetings at the Curragh in the final week of the 2020 Flat turf season, while significant extra Flat opportunities will be provided in November with the five Dundalk fixtures lost earlier in the year all being added back into that month.
There will be three all-weather meetings (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) in each of the three weeks after the end of the Flat turf season, meaning that the overall number of Flat fixtures in November doubles from seven to 14.