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Rescheduled Classics and 50 per cent prize-money cuts: Germany's comeback plan

Germany: racing could return behind closed doors next month
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Racing could resume in Germany on May 1 with prize-money cuts of 50 per cent during a new six-week programme behind closed doors.

The country's racing authority has announced detailed plans for the resumption of the sport and due to the absence of spectators prize-money will be halved but a minimum pool of €3,000 will remain.

Deutscher Galopp has chosen locations with the intention of keeping travel to a minimum, with the proposed fixtures beginning at Hanover and running until the meeting at Munich on June 15. 

Group and Listed races appear on the revised schedule. The German 1,000 Guineas, won last May by the Mark Johnston-trained Main Edition, will be run at Dusseldorf on June 7. 

Racing has been suspended in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak since March 16 and a tentative return date of April 18 was dismissed earlier this month.

Germany has reported 118,000 Covid-19 cases but has a lower mortality rate than many European countries, with 2,500 deaths recorded on Friday morning, compared to almost 8,000 in Britain.

Bridging period

Dr Michael Vesper, president of Deutscher Gallop, said arrangements for the meetings would be made alongside regional authorities.

"We are certain that we can reliably meet the requirements for the restrictions that continue to be necessary," he said.

Raceday officials have been asked to halve their fees and German bookmakers are requested to waive all theirs until there is a full resumption of racing. Until then, the action will be broadcast live and free of charge on the Deutscher Galopp website.

"This is a bridging period between the phase without races and the one with races in front of spectators. It therefore lasts as short as possible and as long as necessary," said Jan Pommer, managing director of Deutscher Gallop.

"We want to make the best of this location and present our great racing to even more people. We hope to win new fans," he said.

Read more:

JRA announces racing will continue behind closed doors under tighter measures

Bank Holiday weekend: what's on and how you can watch it

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We want to make the best of this location and present our great racing to even more people. We hope to win new fans
E.W. Terms