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Gov’t delays Irish racing owners’ return

Plans for owners to be allowed back on track in Ireland from next week have been put on hold following the Irish government’s announcement it is delaying the next phase of its lockdown-lifting roadmap.

Horse Racing Ireland had intended to allow two owners per horse at tracks from Monday, with outdoor gatherings of up to 500 people permitted under phase four of the plan for reopening society and business after the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, new Prime Minister Micheal Martin has pushed the implementation of phase four by three weeks, which means only key personnel will be allowed on track during behind closed doors meetings.

Masks will continue to be mandatory for those working indoors at the racecourse, or when unable to socially distance at all times.

“It is these protocols that ensure that we are able to continue to race,” Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said.

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