Well, we finally have a date.
The 1st of June has been detailed for the resumption of horse racing. That is a blessing as long as the Coronavirus (the dreaded R) doesn't increase beyond 1 and bring further problems.
Only time will tell, hey. We don't know what the future holds and we can only cross our fingers and hope that once racing starts that it continues, progresses, and, sometime soon, gets back to normal.
Newcastle is scheduled as the first fixture.
The first eight days: BHA's proposed fixture list
June 1 Newcastle
June 2 Kempton, Newcastle
June 3 Kempton, Yarmouth
June 4 Newcastle, Newmarket
June 5 Lingfield, Newmarket
June 6 Lingfield, Newcastle, Newmarket
June 7 Haydock, Lingfield, Newmarket
June 8 Chelmsford, Haydock, Lingfield
We have 14 two-year-old races over the eight days.
It's great to see Yarmouth has a fixture on June 3rd. I hadn't considered they would be part of the list of meetings.
I still have concerns about Roal Ascot scheduled for the 16 - 20th June. The Berkshire course has 6 pattern races:
Coventry Stakes (Group 2)
Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed)
Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2)
Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
Albany Stakes (Group 3)
Chesham Stakes (Listed)
As we know, Royal Ascot's two-year-old races have never lacked in numbers. In fact, the size of fields (20+) has always been a problem for me as I think it takes away from the races.
This year will see a stark contrast with the proposed race size of 11 runners or so because of welfare and social distancing.
If Royal Ascot takes place on the suggested date (I hope it doesn't) I think the two-year-old racing will be a letdown. We have, basically, two weeks and a couple of days for the two-year-olds to race at pattern class.
The restricted race sizes at the Royal meeting will bring about problems because the number of entrant at the first declaration stage will be many. How on earth will they decide which horses take part?
If, mysteriously, it the big stables and wealthy owners, many smaller stables will suggest it is them and us. To be fair, the larger stables with wealthy patrons and horses with giant price tag are more likely to be true contenders. But with just 30 two-year-old races leading up to the big day very few horses will have experience or form. It is unlikely many will have two runs under their belts.
Also, with the restricted race size of just 11 or 12 runners per race, how will authorities decide which horses are to be given their prized opportunity to run?
If it is just balloted or numbers out of a hat it will be pure luck who races and not. But what can we say? It is what it is. So time will tell.
We can only cling to the positives and be thankful for what we have.
Good luck to all.