COVID-19: France receives green signal to host closed-door races

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An archive photo of Christophe Soumillon in action on the Longchamp circuit in Paris. The track will come to life with the Prix d’Harcourt Group 2, a prestigious 2,000-meter competition, which will be the first race event to take place in the country after the blockages of COVID-19.
Image credit: AP

Dubai: flat racing takes positive steps in the wake of the coronavirus with France ready to organize a major card with the classic trials and the 2 Prix d’Harcourt Group, a prestigious 2000-meter competition won by Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath the year last, Monday (May 11).

The races will take place behind closed doors and in accordance with the strict safety rules decreed by the French government. It will be the first meeting since the end of racing in France on March 17 when the epidemic swept across the country.

Edouard de Rothschild, president of France Galop, the governing body of flat and steeplechase races in France, said that Parisian police had authorized the resumption of racing.

“We obtained and received authorization from the Paris police headquarters to resume racing on May 11. This is great news and a real victory! He revealed on Twitter.

Olivier Delloye, CEO of France Galop, said: “The plan is still there. We are still aiming to resume racing on all major circuits – including Paris – and we have no red lights to resume racing at this point. This is a case so far so good.

“Of course, having an area labeled green would give you more confidence to resume the race as soon as possible, but being red does not necessarily mean that the race is not possible. I think it will be a case-by-case scenario.

“I think we have a good deal to really protect and defend our position to resume racing on May 11. “

Chantilly Racecourse, the traditional site of the Prix Du Jockey Club (French Derby) in the city of Chantilly, has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic but has since made good progress towards recovery.

Delloye said, “We have received very positive feedback from Chantilly because it is in an area that was severely affected by Covid-19 earlier in March. The question was whether local authorities would allow racing to resume on May 11.

Meanwhile, French Gallop has also revealed revised dates for Group 1 races of the season with the 2,000 and 1,000 French Guineas which are now scheduled to take place on Monday June 1.

Races will be held behind closed doors with only the coach, jockey and groom authorized on the racetrack for each rider.

Horses and jockeys based outside of France are prohibited from competing until at least the end of May.

All sports except horse racing, which are the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, were suspended until September in France.

Revised dates for 1st year group / French races

May 11: the race resumes with the classic tests, including the Prix d’Harcourt Group 2

June 1: 2,000 and 1,000 French Guineas, Longchamp

June 7: Grand Steeple Chase de Paris and Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil, Auteuil

June 13: Alain du Breil and Ferdinand Dufaure Prize, Auteuil

June 14: Prix Saint-Alary and Prix Ganay, Longchamp

June 28: Grand Prix of Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud

July 5: Prix du Jockey Club and Prix de Diane, Chantilly

July 12: Jean Prat Prize, Deauville

July 19: Prix d’Ispahan, Chantilly

August 2: Rothschild Prize, Deauville

August 9 Maurice de Gheest Prize, Deauville

August 16: Jacques le Marois Prize, Deauville

August 23: Jean Romanet Prize and Prix Morny, Deauville

September 13: Grand Prix Juddmonte de Paris, Longchamp

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