Group 1 Jockeys Exempt From Irish Quarantine

Romanised and Billy Lee will be able to continue their partnership in the Moulin | Scoop Dyga

Overseas jockeys will be permitted to bypass Ireland's 14-day quarantine requirement to ride on Group 1 cards, with the Irish government granting an exemption for elite athletes and sportspeople ahead of Irish Champions Weekend next weekend. Irish jockeys traveling overseas to ride in Group 1s will also be exempt from quarantine upon return.

“We have had a change in the government protocols concerning sportspeople and athletes published today, but it is very much on a case-by-case basis,” confirmed Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Officer Brian Kavanagh. “It will be limited to a small number of riders and only for Group 1 races. Jockeys travelling to ride would be at the lower end of the risk scale as they are operating in secure environments, but it will be on a case-by-case basis. Each application will be risk assessed by the medical officer, with risks around contact in travel managed and health checks both before and after.”

The amendment means that Ryan Moore, who flew to Ireland last Saturday to start his quarantine ahead of Irish Champions Weekend, will be able to fly back to the UK to take part in Haydock's Sprint Cup card on Saturday. It also means that William Buick will be able to travel to Leopardstown should Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) run in the G1 Irish Champion S.

The policy change will have implications for Sunday's G1 Prix du Moulin card at ParisLongchamp, too. Olivier Peslier had been booked to take over for Billy Lee on Romanised (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), but Lee will now retain that mount. Colin Keane will also continue his association with G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Siskin (First Defence), who was confirmed for the race on Thursday. Lee and Keane have both already served quarantines after taking rides abroad this summer.

“Colin rides him,” said Siskin's trainer Ger Lyons. “The restrictions have been lifted as of last night. Our jockeys can now ride in Group 1s, and he'll take a test going out [to France] and take a test when he comes back, and he'll be allowed to ride when he comes back, with [Irish] Champions Weekend ahead.

“That's been confirmed, so thankfully–no disrespect to any other jockey who was going to ride him–but I'm a huge fan of Colin, and I like having my own team around me. It just happened literally last night. Thanks to Brian Kavanagh–he worked his socks off recently.”

Trainer Ken Condon added of Romanised, “Billy is going to ride him and he's very much looking forward to it. We had a super-sub lined up in Olivier Peslier, who obviously knows Longchamp like the back of his hand and has been a world-class rider for a long time and still is. But Billy obviously knows the horse inside out at this stage and it's good for continuity that he is able to ride him.”

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