Horse racing return date: When will British horse racing resume?

When, and if, horse racing returns to the UK on Monday 1st June, hold on to your hat as it is going to return with a big old bang!  The first two Classics of the season remain scheduled for the first weekend in June preceded by a plethora of Pattern action from the Wednesday. The latest Press Release from the BHA follows: 

Provisional Flat Pattern and Listed race programme: update

Following the UK government publishing a provisional timetable for the return of professional sport on Monday, the racing industry’s leaders continue to plan for a resumption of racing from 1 June.

To this end, the BHA’s Flat Pattern Committee has today published an update to the programme of Pattern and Listed races for the first seven days of June to reflect this new provisional timetable.

The plan remains to stage the 2000 and 1000 Guineas on 6 and 7 June respectively, with Royal Ascot on its scheduled dates from 16-20 June. There will be some changes to the order of races at Royal Ascot, which will be confirmed as soon as possible.

In addition, the Derby and Oaks will be scheduled for Saturday 4 July, with the Eclipse moved back a day to the Sunday (5 July). Under these circumstances, the Eclipse would be restricted to four-years-old and upwards.

The exact timetable for the resumption of racing will remain subject to agreement from government and an assessment by public health officials of the risks posed by the virus at that time. Any changes to the timetable are likely to have an impact on the programme for Pattern and Listed races.

A provisional race programme for the first seven days of non-Pattern races was released on 7 May, and we expect to publish further detail on this period, as well as a provisional race programme for the second seven day period, later this week.

The aim remains to provide, as soon as possible, at least one Pattern or Listed opportunity covering the key distances for the different sections of the population for three-year-olds and up, with a suitable number of novice/conditions races for two-year-olds scheduled to ensure horses can have a chance to run prior to Royal Ascot. Pattern and Listed races will now also be open to international runners.

We must emphasise that this provisional plan may still need to be adjusted according to when and under what circumstances racing is safely able to recommence.

Races to be run between 3 June and 4 June

Classic Trial (10f 3yo Group 3)
Snowdrop (8f 3+ f Listed)
Pavilion (6f 3yo Group 3)

Races to be run on Friday 5 June

Abernant (6f 3+ Group 3)
Brigadier Gerard (10f 4+ Group 3)
Paradise (8f 3+ Listed)
Lingfield Oaks Trial (11½f 3yo f Listed)
Lingfield Derby Trial (11½f 3yo cg Listed)
Coronation Cup (12f 4+ Group 1)

Races to be run on Saturday 6 June

2000 Guineas (8f 3yo cf Group 1)
*Dahlia (10f 4+ f Group 2)
Palace House (5f 3+ Group 3)
Sagaro (16f 4+ Group 3)
Newmarket (10f 3yo cg Listed)
(*Note: Distance change of the Dahlia to 10f)

Races to be run on Sunday 7 June

1000 Guineas (8f 3yo f Group 1)
Pretty Polly (10f 3yo f Listed)
Buckhounds (12f 4+ Listed)
Cecil Frail (6f 3+ f Listed)
Spring Trophy (7f 3+ Group 3)
Pinnacle (12f 4+ f Group 3)

About the Flat Pattern Committee

The Flat Pattern Committee (FPC) advises and makes recommendations to the BHA Board on matters relating to maintaining and improving the programme of Flat Pattern and Listed races.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the FPC will help ensure that a suitable programme is delivered for the horses that are most likely to provide a future fundamental role on behalf of the breed.

Membership of the FPC:

Lydia Hislop (C)
Emma Berry
Harry Charlton
Andy Clifton
Philip Freedman
William Haggas
Rishi Persad
Ruth Quinn
Simon Crisford
Julian Richmond-Watson
Nick Smith
Nicholas Wrigley