Horse racing set for Monday return at Newcastle

  • Video report by ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott

Horse racing is set to return in the UK on Monday, with Newcastle planning to host the first meeting since lockdown began.

The last meeting to take place in the country happened on March 17, when racing, along with all other sports, was forced to halt due to coronavirus.

The British Horseracing Association (BHA) has planned for a June 1 restart subject to approval from the government, with Boris Johnson's further easing of lockdown restrictions opening the door for sport to take place once more from the start of next week.

The BHA said in a statement on Friday: "We're counting down the hours to the return of racing and looking forward to official confirmation from the UK government after it has published its guidelines for the resumption of sport in the next day or so. The long break is nearly over.

"This morning, we've been busy processing the declarations received for Newcastle's fixture on June 1 and we are now implementing our new medical screening procedures to ensure we safeguard those who plan to be there on Monday for racing's return."

Spectators will not be permitted at races. Credit: PA

All racing will take place behind closed doors until further notice.

Safety protocols were released last week which say staff must complete an online course and questionnaire.

Furthermore, when arriving at a venue, everyone will have their temperature taken.

“Anybody’s who’s above the level, I think it’s 37.8C, will not be admitted and nor will anyone travelling with them,” George McGrath, chief executive of the National Association of Racing Staff, said last week.

Ten races - with a maximum of 12 starters per contest - will take place at the Newcastle fixture, with 120 horses set to participate.