All Go As Musselburgh Racecourse Prepares To Race Behind Closed Doors
First of Five Meetings Set For June 30
Musselburgh Racecourse has been given the green light to kick-start its Flat season after the Scottish Government confirmed the return of professional sports in Phase 2 of the Covid-19 route map.
The East Lothian course will stage the first of five behind-closed-doors meeting on Tuesday 30 June and Wednesday 1 July. The other fixtures are scheduled for Friday 10 July, Thursday 30 July (evening) and Wednesday 26 August.
The first race in Scotland takes place at Ayr on Monday 22 June. It is expected other fixtures will be assigned by the British Horseracing Authority in due course to Musselburgh and Scotland’s other four racecourses.
Musselburgh’s management team have established procedures for hosting controlled meetings without spectators which meet the highest health and safety and bio-security standards and have been working closely with East Lothian Council and Police Scotland in preparation for the resumption of racing.
Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth welcomed the announcement and said Scottish racing was fully prepared to play a vital role in supporting owners, trainers and the wider horseracing sector.
He said: “Controlled horseracing meetings have been very successfully introduced in England, Ireland and a number of other countries and we are looking forward to playing our part in getting the wheels of the industry turning again in Scotland.”
Racing fans will be able to follow the action through a number of different options, including live screening on Racing TV, ITV Racing, on catch up via Racing TV Player, and through bookmakers websites for those who have accounts.
Minister for Public Health, Sport & Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick, MSP, said: “I’m sure that this news will be welcomed by racing fans across the country. The resumption of professional sports is another step towards some level of normality and its safe resumption is only possible thanks to a constructive relationship between the Scottish Government and bodies like Scottish Racing.”
Manager of Scottish Racing, Delly Innes, said: “We are delighted to welcome the return of racing in Scotland after a long, but necessary, absence as Scotland faced the challenges of Covid-19. This has been an immensely challenging time for our five excellent racecourses, but this is an important first step on the road to recovery, and we will be working hard to ensure all our participants are familiar with, and adhere to Scottish rules and guidance where these differ from UK guidance.
“We are raring to go with an exciting programme of fixtures in the months ahead which will help support the wider Scottish and British racing industry, and provide entertainment to viewers across the country.”