France Galop head admits rescheduling Classics is a possibility

French Guineas meeting is currently due to be run on May 10.

  • Wednesday 18 March
  • News
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Officials at France Galop are already considering the possibility of having to reschedule this year’s Classics due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ruling body of French racing on Monday announced the suspension of all meetings between March 17 and April 15, as the country attempts to get to grips with the outbreak of Covid-19.

The French 2000 and 1000 Guineas at ParisLongchamp are not due to be run until May 10, with the French Derby and French Oaks at Chantilly even later in the calendar – scheduled for May 31 and June 14 respectively.

However, France Galop’s chief executive Olivier Delloye is keen to plan ahead in case a further delay is required.

Asked whether those major races could be rescheduled if required, Delloye told Sky Sports Racing: “Yes, most likely. That’s the sort of work that is being done with the team at France Galop.

“They are building some different scenarios, depending on when racing can resume – and at what date we can set the main Classics in the calendar, and what sort of races we could introduce.

“It’s being worked out. I can’t tell you more at the moment, because it is at the preliminary stages, but that is one of the priorities on the table at the moment.”

Delloye admits that like their counterparts in Britain and Ireland, trainers, owners and breeders in Ireland are concerned about the financial impact of the cancellation of racing.

He added: “We suspended racing until mid-April as it corresponds to the dates that have been indicated by the French Government, when it decided to close down all the bars and restaurants and public activity.

“Obviously we don’t know whether we be able to resume racing at that stage. Only the coming days and weeks will give us a proper indication of our ability to resume racing.

“There is a mix of understanding and also worry (from horsemen). People need to have their horses race and people are not necessarily in a healthy financial situation, so every day without racing is a day where people lose money – and they cannot really afford it.

“People are worried about the length of the crisis and wondering when racing can resume.

“There is no negative reaction to the racing authorities as everybody understands there is no other choice but to stop racing for the moment, but they are very much worried for their own situation.”

France Galop head admits rescheduling Classics is a possibility
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