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International runners to return to British races

| By iGB Editorial Team
International runners will be able to participate in British horseracing fixtures from next week.

International runners will be able to participate in British horseracing fixtures from next week.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed that from Monday 15 June, all Pattern and Listed races in Great Britain will be open to international runners.

Internationally trained horses and individuals transporting them will be able to enter Britain, but entrants must comply with relevant UK Government rules, and BHA’s guidelines and operating procedures for racing behind closed doors.

At present, there will be no travel restrictions on individuals arriving in Britain from the Republic of Ireland, while anyone arriving from other jurisdictions must observe a 14-day self-isolation period.

The BHA added that in addition to the normal rules and testing requirements for international runners, all competitors will be subject to the authority’s guidelines and operating procedures for behind closed doors fixtures. Overseas attendees must declare their date of arrival in Britain, and they may also be required to provide supporting documentary evidence to confirm this declaration.

Meanwhile, racing chiefs have switched this week’s fixture at Bath to Lingfield Park in a bid to ensure a high number of entries as the sector continues its resumption following lockdown. The BHA said it was concerned about the Bath track due to the recent sustained spell of dry weather and the fact that the course cannot have an irrigation system.

It is thought hard ground could limit entries at a time when the racing authorities are attempting to ensure maximum exposure following the three-month suspension due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The eight-race card will remain as an evening fixture and take place on Lingfield’s AWT track, with the ability to divide to nine races if required. Declarations are due as normal at the 72-hour stage today (Monday).

Jon Pullin, racing director at Arena Racing Company, said: “Since the publication of the new fixture list, we simply haven’t seen the rainfall at Bath that would be needed for the ground to move from anything other than Firm, Hard in Places.

“Whilst this going description is acceptable for flat racing, it generally suits a relatively small pool of horses. At a time when the focus is on maximising the opportunities for horsemen, and despite an unsettled forecast for this weekend, we have taken the decision to move the fixture to Lingfield Park’s polytrack surface.”

Racing resumed in Britain at Newcastle on Monday, 1 June, having closed in mid-March. The BHA last week added nine further racing fixtures to its revised schedule, after the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) agreed to provide additional funding for the meetings.

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