New dates announced for Classics in France

Racing provisionally set to resume behind closed doors on May 11.

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France Galop has announced rescheduled dates for the French Classics, with the Guineas meeting set to be staged on June 1 at ParisLongchamp and the French Derby and Oaks to follow on July 5 at Chantilly.

The new dates were revealed as the authority works towards a resumption of racing on May 11, with key Guineas trials, the Prix de la Grotte and Prix de Fontainebleau, due to be run on that opening day at ParisLongchamp.

France Galop has published a revised fixture list that also has further Classic trials, the Prix La Force and Prix Vanteaux on May 14 at ParisLongchamp and the Group One Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary at that track on June 14.

The Prix Greffulhe will be staged on June 6 at Saint-Cloud, with further trials at Chantilly on June 10 and 19, but the Prix de Malleret will be run after the French Oaks on July 14 at ParisLongchamp and the Prix Hocquart after the Derby on August 8 at Deauville.

High-profile Group Ones for older runners have also been given new dates, with the Prix Ganay on June 14 at ParisLongchamp, the Prix d’Ispahan July 19 at Chantilly and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 28 at Saint-Cloud.

France Galop also announced entries for the 2020 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will not be made as usual at the end of May and “will be rescheduled for mid-June, probably before Royal Ascot”, so it will still fall between the French Guineas and Derby meetings.

A handful of Group races have been scrapped including the Prix Niel, with the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris taking that race’s slot on September 13 at ParisLongchamp.

Some high-profile jumps meetings have also been given revised dates, most notably the the Grand Steeple Chase de Paris and Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil which will now be on June 7.

The Prix Alain du Breil will be on June 13 and the Prix La Barka is now programmed for July 4.

On Wednesday, France Galop announced a series of strict health conditions that must be met for racing to go ahead behind closed doors, with all participants from abroad – both equine and human – not permitted until at least June.

French President Emmanuel Macron extended the country’s lockdown until May 11, and France Galop issued the revised fixture list on “the basis that racing resumes behind closed doors” that day.

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