By Andrew Atkinson
The full Flat racing programme for August has been published amid the Covid-19 by the BHA.
The August flat amateur and apprentice races for August includes a small number of races, restricted to apprentice or amateur jockeys.
Field sizes – Flat
Field sizes for Flat races can now revert to the maximum limit imposed by the racecourse at which races are due to be held. This follows a review of field sizes, which had most recently been restricted to a maximum of 14 runners for all non-Pattern and Listed races.
The Racecourse Association will continue to work with individual racecourses to establish the safety factors that can be managed effectively at each venue.
Off course claims continue to be permitted for all claiming races; however due to current health screening requirements at race meetings, claimed horses must be collected no later than one hour before the final race on a given card.
When an off course claim is successful, the trainer (or their representative) should immediately contact the BHA’s COVID-19 helpdesk (0207 152 0110) to ensure they are registered to attend the fixture and to go through the relevant pre-screening.
On arrival at the racecourse, they should contact the Clerk of the Course to make arrangements for the horse to be collected.
Reminder for Jump trainers – declaring staff for raceday
An update to Jumps trainers, with specific information to help support them and their teams in adapting to the behind closed doors protocols includes step-by-step guides to the entry screening and declaration processes, which must be completed in advance of raceday.
Following requests, we are re-sharing this information, which can be viewed in full on the BHA website. Please note in particular the process for confirming staff attendance at the racecourse, which must be completed for staff to be granted access to the fixture. A short guide has been produced to help support with this specifically.
By supplying accurate and timely information, you can help reduce the likelihood of delays on raceday.
If additional assistance is required with the new processes, contact the BHA’s dedicated helpdesk, which is staffed from 9am to 5pm every day (including weekends).
- Phone: 0207 152 0110 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Owners – updated guidance
The latest guidance for owners returning to the racecourse: Following successful test events, racecourses can now provide briefing areas, which give owners the opportunity to speak to their trainers and/or jockeys, before and after the race, while continuing to maintain social distancing and adhere to other infection control measures.
Connections will be advised as to how the briefing areas will work on arrival at the fixture.
Owners and trainers are reminded that no participants are permitted to move between the Owners’ Zone and the ‘green zone’ used by raceday workers (trainers, stable staff, jockeys, officials, media etc.).
This is an essential requirement to ensure that racing continues to take place in a safe and controlled environment.
Any unauthorised crossing between zones risks compromising the infection control measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission, and therefore the safety of raceday attendees and the running of the fixture itself.
A step by step guide on what owners need to do if they wish to watch their horse(s) run and detailed FAQ’s are available on the ROA website.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the return of owners to the racecourse should contact the ROA on 01183 385680 or via: email@example.com.
Yard open days
We have had enquiries from trainers asking whether yard open days, open to the public, are possible from July 4 under current government guidance.
Racing was able to resume in June ahead of other business sectors under guidance for the resumption of elite sport. As such, racing yards are generally considered by the governments of England, Scotland and Wales to be training venues for sport, rather than leisure and hospitality venues.
Trainers should note that leisure and hospitality guidance varies across England, Scotland and Wales and is subject to change.
The current advice of the BHA’s Chief Medical Adviser is that open days of this nature should be avoided at the present time, in order to reduce footfall through the yard and to minimise the risk of introducing infection.
We do, of course, support and encourage creative approaches, such as the now-virtual Henry Cecil Open Weekend at Newmarket, which will take place in September.
The BHA Guidelines and Operating Procedures document is regularly updated. The latest version can always be found on the Covid-19 section of the BHA website.