There have been a few false dawns of a return to racing since the coronavirus lockdown came into force but the latest date of June 1st looks the most solid yet as this week the BHA published a fixture list for the first week of racing once it is safe to do so.
It is good to finally have something to aim for and to be able to pick some races out for the horses. Whether they will actually be allowed to run is another thing as I imagine there will be unprecedented numbers of entries in every race as everyone will be keen to run. Horses will need to be rated within a pound or two of the top of the handicap to get in and the ballot in maidens will be just down to complete luck of the draw. We have a few horses who should definitely get in a race so hopefully in the first week of racing we will be represented somewhere.
A lot can happen before then though and we just have to keep our fingers crossed that the death rate doesn't rise again and the NHS can keep on top of things as it would only be right to resume racing when the country is back to some kind of normality.
Further guidelines about the return to racing will likely be published this week but one thing for sure is that there won't be any crowds to see the horses run with just the bare minimum of personnel at the course to reduce the risk of infection. It will be very strange having no owners or spectators at the races but once it is proven safe, hopefully restrictions can be eased gradually.
A good chunk of our horses have been in full work for a couple of weeks now and will be ready to run from June 1st. The gallops on Saturday were very busy as every trainer is getting their string into top gear and we were all wanting to go on the all-weather gallops as the grass has gone a bit too firm after a lovely week of weather.