First posted Friday 19th June.
Since the beginning of June, racecourses nationwide have staged meetings without a public crowd, strictly following what are known as “behind closed doors” protocols. These meet the strict guidance set out by the Government and Public Health England.
The intention is to provide an environment that addresses the risks posed by Covid-19, so keeping participants, organisers and the general public, as safe as possible.
Beginning on Thursday 9 July, York Racecourse will host the first of five racedays in July that will adhere to these safety measures. It is important that everyone respects the request to NOT try to watch these meetings live, so following the community spirit already displayed on Ascot Heath, Pontefract Park or Beverley’s Westwood. The July fixture list allocates slots to York Racecourse starting with Thursday 9th July, then Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th July and Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th July.
To stress these are to be strictly not for the public events, spectators are urged not to attend. To emphasize this point, key views of the racing action will be obscured and there will be no provision of commentary, big screens, public car parks, catering nor toilets.
In order to separate the public from the horses and the vehicles used by doctors and vets, the service road around the Knavesmire will be closed between 12noon and 6pm on the five racedays.
All locals who regularly enjoy the Knavesmire, especially the service road, are asked to consider scheduling their exercise for earlier, later or elsewhere on those dates. The centre of the Knavesmire will not be closed to locals. however the racing surface and service road will be fenced off and stewarded for the safety of all involved.
The feature races from York on all these days will be shown live and free to air on ITV Racing as well as on Racing TV. This will provide the best experience, combining multiple camera angles with expert analysis and all the details of the runners and riders. To mark your card as to what to expect by day:
· Thursday 9th July
o Al Basti Equiworld Dante Stakes (Group 2)
o Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (Group 3)
o European Breeders Fund Marygate Stakes (Listed)
· Saturday 18th July
o John Smith's Cup
o John Smith’s Silver Cup (Group 3)
o John Smith’s City Walls Stakes (Listed)
· Sunday 19th July
o William Hill Summer Stakes (Group 3)
o King Charles II Stakes (Listed)
· Saturday 25th July
o Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2)
· Sunday 26th July
o European Breeder's Fund Lyric Stakes (Listed)
Racing fans can follow all the action by subscribing to Racing TV or making use of the live streaming provided by many bookmakers.
Once finalised, a link to the full race programme will be posted to this website page. There is an understandable high level of detail in what is an evolving operational plan for York’s first raceday under these new protocols. The focus is on the appropriate health screening regime before the event and on arrival, rigorous cleaning procedures across the venue and adherence to social distancing measures.
In conclusion, we hope you will enjoy the return of the sport to the Knavesmire but please follow it from the comfort of your armchair.