French racing forced into Plan B

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Olivier Delloye, CEO of France Galop, has revealed contingency plans have been brought in after the government’s latest decision.

French racing had been postponed from mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic but the equine industry made its return on May 11, having been given the green light by the government to resume behind closed doors.

Everything appeared to be going well, with meetings at Longchamp, Saint-Cloud and other venues taking place, but the government announced on Tuesday that any track that is located within a coronavirus ‘red zone’ must stop staging meetings.

This means racing at Longchamp, Saint-Cloud, Chantilly and Auteuil has been suspended until further notice, casting doubts over whether certain fixtures will be lost from the calendar.

However, Delloye is hopeful no meetings will be lost as a result of the decision after revealing the back-up plans Franc Galop had in place are now in full effect.

“I hoped our contingency plans would not be necessary but they will for the forthcoming weeks,” he was quoted as saying by Sporting Life. “B-plan to be released soon. “No fixture will be lost ? racing goes on but we need to adapt to fast changing (and hard to read) rules.”

The two Longchamp meetings scheduled for Thursday and Sunday this week have been moved to Deauville, Friday’s meetings at Fontainebleau and Compiegne will be transferred to Vichy and Dieppe respectively, while Thursday’s Strasbourg card has been postponed to a later date.

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