Safety first as Redcar prepares to launch season on Easter Monday

REDCAR Racecourse is ready to launch its new season with the emphasis firmly on safety amid continuing Covid-19 regulations.

The popular seaside track kicks off the first of 18 fixtures in 2021 with a seven-race card, behind closed doors, on Easter Monday.

That will be followed by meetings on April 12 and April 29 before the first potential fixture in front of a limited number of spectators on May 17 – if the Government’s “roadmap” out of lockdown goes according to plan.

Redcar’s general manager, Amy Fair, said: “We are so looking forward to being able to welcome crowds back once it is safe to do so but the future remains uncertain so, for now, it’s a case of staging the April meetings under strict bio-security measures.

“Hopefully, the vaccination programme will continue to be effective in suppressing the virus and, if that’s the case, we can start to look at spectators returning from the May 17 meeting, although numbers will have to be restricted to begin with.

“We’re really sad that we can’t have crowds with us for Easter Monday, and the two other April meetings, but we are following Government and British Horseracing Authority regulations to the letter, with the absolute priority of keeping everyone as safe as possible.”

It is hoped that attendances can gradually increase as the season progresses – depending on how successful the ongoing fight against Covid-19 proves to be. To avoid disappointment, no tickets for any meeting will go on sale until arrangements are confirmed.

Last season, Redcar restarted racing in June, after the first national lockdown, and went on to successfully stage 11 of its scheduled 18 meetings behind closed doors.

“The safety measures we introduced last year for jockeys, trainers, owners and officials worked really well, and we’ve been working hard to ensure the same high safety standards are in place for this season,” added Amy.

“Racing makes such an important contribution to the economy in Yorkshire, employing a huge number of people, and the aim is to support those jobs by keeping the sport going in as safe a way as possible.”

Two owners per runner will be allowed into the course on Easter Monday, rising to six per runner from April 12, with the Paddock Suite being used as the owners’ designated area. Everyone on the racecourse will be required to wear masks and abide by social distancing rules, aided by clearly signposting.

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