By Andrew Atkinson

Newcastle races at High Gosforth Park are gearing up to return to the fold on June 1 following the coronavirus lockdown that rocked the sport in March.

Trainers have entered over 360 horses at the venue – the first races to take place in Britain since March 17.

Following meetings with the UK Government, between racecourses, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the Jockey Club, racing will recommence on June 1, under Government approval amid COVID-19.

Newcastle will stage an eight racecard meeting, behind closed doors, including races for 3-year-olds and upwards.

The 6 furlong Callerton Novice Stakes and 1m 2f Annitsford Maiden Stakes, sees 64 and 68 entries, respectively at present.

The Hazelrigg Handicap over 1m 4f, has 29 entries to date, and the Brenkley Handicap, 57 entries. Declarations are limited in all races to 12 runners. Trainers are hoping some races will be split.

Magical Journey, trained by Newmarket based James Tate, has a plethora of entries, including Blazing Hot, Lord Of The Sky and School Of Thought.

Magical Journey, who finished second in Listed company in 2019, could also run at Haydock Park in late June.

Newmarket trainer Marco Botti, who has entries at Newcastle in Badreputatation, Harbour Of Grace and Geizy Teizy, the latter in the Burradon Handicap, has options to head to Kempton on June 2.

The British Horseracing Authority announced a provisional behind closed doors fixture list – from June to August – subject to Government approval, with June 1 scheduled for Newcastle’s opener.

Philip Kirby, based at Green Oaks Farm stables in Richmond, North Yorkshire told “Ice Pymarid and December Second are declared runners at Newcastle.

“They horses are looking well and some of the horses have been on the new sand gallop, that has been constructed and is a significant addition to our facilities at Green Oaks.”

Flat and double bumper winner, December Second runs at Newcastle on June 1.
Flat and double bumper winner, December Second runs at Newcastle on June 1.

Philip Kirby horses (pictured) prepare on the new deep sand gallop ahead of the National Hunt season.