Daily Express


Racing’s champing at the bit for the June 1 restart

- By Chris Goulding

PAUL STRUTHERS, chief executive of the Profession­al Jockeys Associatio­n, welcomed the news that racing will now return on June 1 following guidance from the Government.

“Being realistic and knowing where we were, certainly in the PJA, we thought a return would be most likely between May 26 and June 1,” said Struthers.

“So, look, would racing be able to be up in a running as safely as it can prior to June 1, absolutely it could, therefore it is obviously slightly disappoint­ing that we can’t start sooner.

“But it is hugely important that we are fully on side with any advice that the Government is giving for the wider benefit of public health and the good news is now we have a date.”

Like Struthers, champion trainer John Gosden is of the view racing is in a good position to resume after the sport had been put on hold from March 17 following the coronaviru­s pandemic.

“There’s relief that we know where we’re going,” said Gosden.

“Step two said that from June 1 sport can occur behind closed doors from that date onwards and we can be absolutely ready. I’ll feel very comfortabl­e at a racecourse with our staff because I’ve seen all the factors and restrictio­ns that has been put in.

“I think going to the racecourse will be a great deal safer than going to the petrol station or the supermarke­t.” Struthers (left) added: “Unless something disastrous happens over the next three weeks, it does mean we will be restarting on June 1,” he said.

“That’s what we have been told as the first possible date – and there is no reason to not plan for that return.

“Everybody now has a date now. The jockeys know they have got three weeks to get ready.

“Owners who have kept horses in training for the last two months, with no prospects to race, know that doing so has not been completely in vain.”

Struthers expects racing to have all the necessary protocol in place to satisfy the Government.

“I struggle to think of any other workplace in the country that would certainly have a higher standard – there might be a few that have an equal high standard,” said Struthers.

“We’ve got a date now, let’s plan for it and look forward to getting back up and running.”

 ??  ?? GREEN LIGHT Trainer John Gosden is confident racing is prepared for a return in three weeks
GREEN LIGHT Trainer John Gosden is confident racing is prepared for a return in three weeks

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