The first big return to UK racing is nearly upon us as Royal Ascot is set to take place between June 16th to June 20th. As many may already know, the event will be taking place without any fans in attendance as mandated by the UK government permit to allow sporting events to take place behind closed doors from June 1st – following a little drama that had come from some Irish racers given the time lag between when some qualifiers could happen, it appears as though a lot is now ironed out and the event is really coming together.
Schedule – The schedule of the event has already been somewhat laid out as some alterations have been made – the event is now set to feature 36 races over five days – with eight taking place on the final day. The opening race will see a return to the Buckingham Palace Handicap which had been dropped in 2015. The announcement came with the hope that the viewers at home, broadcasters and the racers at the event would welcome the change to the additional events that will be taking place.
Betting – A large part of horseracing can be found within the betting scene, possibly more so now that fans will be unable to attend the event in person – there is good news here too however as betting shops may reopen in time for the Ascot following the new government mandate that non-essential businesses adhering to coronavirus rules may reopen on June 15th. Odds are also going live through online betting alternatives as a good review of non gamstop betting sites are pushing many of these services to the top of the public’s list – there may be some adjustments here as time changes, but there are at least multiple options available.
Macro Botti and Malotru – Something else to get the fans excited could be the appearance of Malotru at the ascot following the changes announced by Deutscher Galopp – riders had been made aware that runners from Britain, Ireland, and France would be unable to attend the German raid, but Botti released a statement saying that it was expected given the French Guineas followed a similar plan closing for only french horses, but is now eyeing the Ascot as a potential target.
It is still important to notify fans, however, that changes may yet happen. The Ascot is still three weeks away and although initial efforts to ease lockdown measures appear to be going well, we’re all well aware of just how much can change in such a short period of time. Cheltenham had come under fire toward the end of March for not erring on the side of caution just a day before lockdown measures were put into place, and if anything seems amiss it’s likely that the Ascot organisers will react quickly to any changes – for now as mentioned all signs are a go, but for racing fans these next few weeks could be tense whilst hoping that current news stays as it is.