Prize money to be slashed when Irish horseracing resumes next month

All the announced fixtures will take place under the strict protocols including the prior health screening of all those who will be in attendance at each race meeting and, to facilitate the efficient delivery of this, 48-hour declarations will be introduced for all races in June.

Prize money will be slashed when horseracing resumes next month in Ireland.

Horse Racing Ireland chiefs this afternoon confirmed that Naas will host the first behind closed doors meeting, since the sport went into lockdown, on June 8th with National Hunt racing resuming at Limerick on June 22.

However HRI bosses said that the impact of the crisis means that “regrettably a number of prize money reductions will take immediate effect for June, with the possibility that further downward adjustments will be required through the rest of the year. The focus has been on maintaining prize money levels in the lower to medium tiers as high as possible.”

The new proposed prize money for Group 1 races already closed, or about to close for entry, sees the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes both cut to €750,000 (by 50% and 40% from €1.5m and €1.25m respectively) with significant reductions to all other Group 1 races throughout the year.

The 1000 and 2000 Guineas will both be worth €250,000.

The general prize money reductions, initially to the end of June, are as follows: Base values for Group 1 Flat races cut by 30%-50%; Base values for races above €50,000 cut by at least 25%; Base values for races above €20,000 to €50,000 cut by 20%; Base values for races above €15,000 to €20,000 cut by 15%; Base values for races from €10,000 to €15,000 cut by 10%; Minimum value of €10,000 cut by 10% to €9,000; Entries fees for all races will be reduced in line with prize money reductions

The 2000 and 1000 Guineas will take place at the Curragh in the first week of action, with the 2000 Guineas on Friday June 12 and the 1000 Guineas on Saturday June 13.

The Irish Derby retains its traditional date on Saturday, June 27, as does the Irish Oaks on Saturday, July 18. Irish Champions Weekend is still set for September 12 and 13.

However Cork racecourse will not be among the nine racecourse used in June when it will continue to serve an important role as an HSE Test Centre for Covid-19.

For the first three weeks, racing will be restricted to nine racecourses which are more centrally located to minimise travel distances and which also have higher stable capacities given the requirement for one stable per horse under the new protocols.

International participation will be restricted to Group 1 and Group 2 races only for June, all of which must be in strict compliance with Government policy on the movement of people in and out of the country. It is envisaged that all Black Type races will be open to international competition from the start of July.

All the fixtures will take place under the strict protocols including the prior health screening of all those who will be in attendance at each race meeting and, to facilitate the efficient delivery of this, 48-hour declarations will be introduced for all races in June.

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “With the confirmation on Friday of the resumption of racing on June 8, we are now publishing the fixture list and the associated details for the first three weeks of racing. 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. 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. The resumption of racing will allow sales, trade and other ancillary services to get going again and will be widely welcomed in those areas.

"Horse Racing Ireland are liaising closely with our international counterparts regarding the resumption of racing in those countries and issues such as protocols, international runners and prize money levels.”

JUNE FIXTURES (Flat unless otherwise indicated)

  • June 8: Naas
  • June 9: Leopardstown
  • June 10: Navan
  • June 11: Gowran Park
  • June 12: Curragh
  • June 13: Curragh
  • 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
  • June 28: Curragh
  • June 29: Limerick, Kilbeggan (NH)

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