British Jump racing returns today at Southwell following a lengthy shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
And for the first time since racing was suspended on March 17 some racehorse owners will be able to attend, although their movements around the course will be limited and they will not be permitted to enter the parade ring. Today’s meetings at Southwell and Kempton are being called ‘test events’ which will give the BHA an opportunity to check procedures ahead of a wider return for owners starting on Saturday.
Two horses who ran during the most recent British point-to-point season are set to run at Southwell, which stages a nine-race card kicking off at noon.
Ultimate Getaway (1.10), a former Irish pointer who finished third at Alnwick in December when saddled by Yorkshire-based trainer Courtney Tinkler, makes his debut for trainer Fergal O’Brien in the bumper. Paddy Brennan will be in the saddle today.
Piano Stairs (2.10) tackles a novices’ hurdle for trainer Tom Lacey having fallen in a maiden point-to-point at Brocklesby Park in February when handled by Lacey’s wife Sophie. Former champion jockey Dickie Johnson takes the ride.