Naas to host first meeting back with Irish Guineas to be run on June 12 and 13
Naas will host Irish racing's return fixture on June 8, with the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas rescheduled for Friday June 12 and Saturday June 13 in Horse Racing Ireland's schedule revealed on Sunday.
The first two weeks will be all Flat racing, with jumps action resuming at Limerick on June 22.
There will be tiered prize-money reductions across all grades, with the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes cut by 50 per cent and 40 per cent to €750,000 (from €1.5 million and €1.25m).
The Irish Derby retains its traditional date on June 27, as does the Irish Oaks on July 18. Irish Champions Weekend will take place on September 12 and 13.
According to HRI, international participation will be restricted to Group 1 and Group 2 races only for June, with Irish government quarantine protocols requiring anyone coming to Ireland to spend 14 days in isolation before being allowed to attend an Irish fixture.
This could prove problematic for riders wishing to compete in the opening Classics of the season in Ireland and Britain, with Newmarket's 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas set for June 6 and 7.
However, HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh told the Racing Post on Saturday that the quarantine policy would be a topic of discussion with government officials and other racing jurisdictions.
It is envisaged that all black type races will be open to international competition from the start of July. Details of these races, as well as premier handicaps, will be published next week when the full programme of races in June is announced.
In a bid to assist health screening protocols, 48-hour declarations will be in place for the foreseeable future, with no apprentice or claiming races across first two weeks of Irish racing's restart.
For the first three weeks, racing will be restricted to nine racecourses that are more centrally located to minimise travel distances and have higher stable capacities, given the requirement for one stable per horse under the new protocols.
Wherever possible, eight-race cards will be staged to maximise opportunities for the horse population, with a general maximum limit of 18 initially.
These safety limits will be decided on a racecourse-by-racecourse basis.
Cork racecourse, which is being used as a Covid-19 testing centre for the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE), had been due to host a meeting on June 10 but will only resume racing when coronavirus testing at the Mallow venue has ceased.
Other courses not included in Sunday's schedule that were initially due to host fixtures from June 8 to the month's end include Downpatrick, Down Royal (two meetings each), Ballinrobe, Wexford and Sligo.
Prize-money reductions, initially to the end of June
Base values for Group 1 Flat races: cut by 30-50 per cent
Base values for races above €50,000: cut by at least 25 per cent
Base values for races above €20,000 to €50,000: cut by 20 per cent
Base values for races above €15,000 to €20,000: cut by 15 per cent
Base values for races from €10,000 to €15,000: cut by 10 per cent
Minimum value of €10,000: cut by 10 per cent to €9,000
Entry fees for all races will be reduced in line with prize-money reductions, while 10lb claimers with fewer than six rides will not be permitted to take rides in the first fortnight.
With no racecourse saunas allowed to open under the Covid-19 protocols, the 2lb increase in weights introduced in March will continue to be applied to all races.
HRI boss Kavanagh explained: "We are grateful to everybody for the patience they have shown during this very difficult time and we will provide every opportunity for essential personnel to fully understand and implement the return to racing protocols.
"Regrettably, due to the financial circumstances of the industry, prize-money cuts are inevitable and we have adopted a tiered approach, endeavouring to protect the grassroots of the industry as much as possible."
Top-level racing in Britain, it was revealed on Thursday, will see a temporary 50 per cent drop in minimum prize money values, with the Horserace Betting Levy Board also prioritising "middle and grassroots level of the sport".
Kavanagh added: "We expect there to be significant demand for horses to run once we resume, and we will aim to provide opportunities across the spectrum of age, gender and ability.
"We will have missed 11 weeks' racing, which will take some time to catch up. We intend to do this over the course of the rest of the year rather than immediately."
June: Irish racing fixtures (Flat unless otherwise indicated)
June 8 Naas
June 9 Leopardstown
June 10 Navan
June 11 Gowran Park
June 12 Curragh (Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas)
June 13 Curragh (Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas)
June 14 Leopardstown
June 15 Fairyhouse, Roscommon
June 17 Gowran Park, Limerick
June 18 Fairyhouse
June 19 Tipperary, Gowran Park
June 20 Naas
June 21 Leopardstown
June 22 Roscommon, Limerick (NH)
June 23 Navan
June 24 Naas, Roscommon (NH)
June 25 Fairyhouse
June 26 Curragh, Tipperary (NH)
June 27 Curragh (Irish Derby)
June 28 Curragh
June 29 Limerick, Kilbeggan (NH)
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