Minimal disruption to top races as HRI reveals Group-race programme for 2020
Horse Racing Ireland boss Brian Kavanagh has described 2020 as "anything other than a normal year" in revealing a remarkably unchanged Group-race programme on Tuesday.
Apart from the three Group 1 races that are normally run on Irish Guineas weekend, all other top-level races will be run in their usual slots in Ireland this season. Not a single Group race has been lost from the programme.
In what was the most noteworthy change to the Pattern, the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, traditionally a curtain-raiser for the best middle-distance horses in Europe, moves to July and will be open to three-year-olds.
Racing resumes in Ireland behind closed doors on June 8 having missed 87 fixtures since March 24, and Kavanagh said: "The revised list of Pattern races published today will see the majority of them run on their original dates and under their typical conditions, though inevitably some have had date, race conditions and even venue changes to allow them fit into the new schedule."
He added: "Apart from the three Group 1 races normally run on Guineas weekend, all other Group 1 races in Ireland will be run on their originally scheduled dates and venues.
"The two-year-old Group race programme will start about six weeks later than normal, in early July, but again the full complement of opportunities will be run between then and season end.
"2020 will be anything but a normal year, but in the circumstances, we have tried to preserve the opportunities which the Irish race programme offers to the better horse."
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