Owners Barred From French Tracks As Lockdown Begins

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ParisLongchamp staged its final meeting of the season on Thursday | Emma Berry

France Galop has confirmed that racing will be allowed to continue in the country during the new lockdown which came into force at midnight on Thursday.

The action will return to being staged behind closed doors with only key personnel allowed to attend. The trainer and one member of staff per runner will be permitted but owners and spectators are no longer allowed to be present at race meetings in France. The current restrictions are expected to be in place for at least a month.

A statement released by the sport's governing body on Friday read, “All race meetings will take place without the public, within a strictly defined framework of racing behind closed doors that includes the application of a set of very rigorous specifications. Only racing professionals who are involved in the race meeting will be admitted to the racecourse.

“Since the beginning of the health crisis, racing industry stakeholders and horseracing organisations have demonstrated their ability and determination to implement all of the sanitary rules with extreme efficiency and thus will be able to reconcile the necessary continuance of the economic activity with the preservation of their health and that of their families and friends in this new period of lockdown.”

The final Group 1 races of the season in France took place at Saint-Cloud and ParisLongchamp over last weekend with limited spectators in attendance. The Flat turf season got off to a delayed start on May 12 following an initial two-month lockdown with no racing in France from mid-March.

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