By Andrew Atkinson
Racing in England is set to return on June 1 with Irish meetings scheduled to resume on June 8, as easing of the coronavirus lockdown comes into play.
Royal Ascot gets underway on June 16, leaving Irish trainers a week to get horses qualified to run in 2-year-old races, such as the Coventry Stakes.
From June 1-8, 28 races for two-year-olds will take place, enabling trainers to run horses aimed at Royal Ascot.
Irish trainer Ger Lyons, talking on the prospect of entries in juvenile races, said: “With racing in Ireland returning on June 8, we’re not going to have enough horses qualified for two-year-old races.”
Lyons, eyeing the 2,000 Guineas with Siskin, said ‘to be fair to all concerned’, Ascot should seriously consider moving back a week, to help everyone ‘find our legs’.
On a move of date, Ascot’s Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot racecourse, Nick Smith said: “The problem is you really start to clog up the Pattern schedule. You’d basically be asking Newmarket to cancel the July meeting.
“And who knows how far it would have to go back? Then you start to put Glorious Goodwood at risk. It’s just not the way the Pattern operates.
“This is not going to be an ideal scenario. I’m not going to say that anybody’s going to have the ideal preparation. But we all feel that we have a duty to get this show on the road and get it done.
“We could get broadly back to a regular Pattern within five or six weeks. We don’t really want to push the whole Pattern back and end up with British Champions Day on the all-weather in November.”
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, based at Ballydoyle, has chalked up a record nine victories in the Coventry Stakes, with Arizona, reportedly to be impressive on gallops, winning in 2019.
The Royal Ascot meeting takes place during June 16-20, not open to the public, due to the coronavirus lockdown.
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