Godolphin trainers Saeed Bin Surour (left) and Charlie Appleby (right), seen with jockey William Buick, are keeping their horses battle-ready for the resumption of UK flat racing season. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Team Godolphin’s UK-based trainers, Saeed Bin Surour and Charlie Appleby, have been kept waiting before they can swing into action with their strong strings after the government set June 1 as new deadline for resumption of the sport.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson detailed a three-part strategy on Monday to reopen society and bring to an end the lockdown which was imposed on March 23. He confirmed that no professional sport will be staged in England, even if behind closed doors, until June 1 at the earliest.

Bin Suour, who arrived with his 180-strong string at Newmarket after the UAE clled off the Dubai World Cup meeting, said: “We will follow the government’s instruction, people’s health and safety must be number one.

“We are waiting for the BHA to tell us when we can start racing. The horses are in full training. They are ready for any action.”

On Monday evening, the Racing Post reported that British horse racing’s executive committee, which includes the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and industry leaders, would publish a timeline within the next seven days detailing what the sport would need to do to meet the date drawn by the Johnson government.


The ‘resumption of racing group’ is also scheduled to meet and formulise a provisional fixture programme, which includes the scheduling of the Classics and other major races.

Both Bin Surour and Appleby’s horses, meanwhile, have been in full training at their Newmarket headquarters.

Appleby’s Pinatubo, the highest two-year-old of last season, is the favourite for the 1,000 Guineas (Group 1), which was slated for May 3 but was subsequently postponed indefinitely.

Unbeaten in six starts, including the Group 1 Darely Dewhurst Stakes in October last year, Pinatubo also heads the market for the Epsom Derby (G1), British most famous horse race.

Meanwhile, former champion jockey turned racehorse trainer Richard Hughes said racing needs to resume at the earliest.

“It would be safer to go to Lingfield Park than Hyde Park and it will be policed,” he said in the Racing Post. “I can’t see what is stopping a resumption. It may be a sport for some but for those in racing, it’s an industry.

“It’s worked behind closed doors in other countries and the limited number of people going to the tracks would take their responsibilities very seriously. Everybody wants racing to get going and work safely.”

Racing has already resumed in Europe with Germany restarting last Thursday and France host their first meeting since mid-March, on Monday with two Classic Trials.