France Galop eyes May return for French Racing

France Galop, the governing body of French horseracing, is awaiting government approval to restart its racing schedule behind closed doors.

Updating the media, France Galop seeks to resume its track meetings in May following the enforced suspension of all French professional sports on 17 March, complying with the government’s national lockdown orders.

This weekend, President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that France’s lockdown would be extended until 11 May, before the government will review conditions for citizens and businesses.

The governance of France Galop is reported to have presented a series of measures to the Ministry of Agriculture, outlining how horseracing would operate safely without burdening French health networks and emergency services.

The racing authority has underlined that all track meetings will be ‘carried out in the strictest conformity’, adhering to rules on social distancing.

A statement from France Galop said: “The industry had shown its ability to organise meetings behind closed doors whilst maintaining an excellent level of risk prevention of spreading the virus.

“In the context of racing behind closed doors, access to the racecourse had been strictly limited to a minimum of professionals who are essential for the organisation of a race meeting.”

France Galop’s funding arrangements for participants will be a further issue that needs to be secured, as PMU cafes – the syndicated betting locations for French racing – will remain closed according to lockdown restrictions.

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