British racing remains on course for a June 1 coronavirus comeback – despite the dramatic shutdown of racecourses in Paris.
Paris Longchamp staged the post-COVID-19 resumption of racing in France with a big-money card 10 days ago.
But the sport met with a shock setback on Tuesday afternoon when France Galop announced that action in the coronavirus high-risk ‘red zone’ covering Paris and the north east of the country was suspended with immediate effect.
The news triggered fears that the restart in Britain, scheduled for June 1, was in jeopardy as result – with anxiety heightened by the fact that Newcastle, due to host the first fixture back, is in the heart of region with the highest infection rate.
However, moving to allay concerns on Wednesday, a British Horseracing Authority spokesman said: “Our proposal has always been that racing will be ready to return safely in Britain as soon as the UK Government permits the resumption of sporting events.
“Our plans are being developed with officials from Public Health England and will be in line with UK government policy.