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Crowd to return during Irish Derby meeting

A limited number of racegoers will be able to attend the Curragh on Dubai Irish Derby weekend, after it was announced as a pilot event by the Irish Taoiseach.

Speaking at the Government buildings in Dublin, Taoiseach Micheal Martin confirmed as part of a widespread reopening of the country this summer there will also be a number of pilot sporting and cultural events taking place in June and early July, to test the logistical requirements for further easing of coronavirus restrictions.

He did, though, urge the public to “remain vigilant against the terrible virus”.

As Martin unveiled the Government’s plans over June, July and August, he said that the reopening of society and the economy will depend on Irish people following the guidelines in place.

The Curragh welcomed the news of racegoers being allowed back for its showpiece meeting, posting on the course’s official Twitter account: “With the excellent news from the Taoiseach this evening on the reopening of the country, we are delighted that The Curragh is to stage a trial event on
@DubaiDutyFree Irish Derby Weekend.

“A great next step. We cannot wait to have owners and racing fans back here at The Curragh.”

Curragh officials ‘hopeful’ as deluge puts Irish 2,000 Guineas card in doubt

Officials at the Curragh are more hopeful than confident about the chances of Saturday’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas card going ahead after calling a morning inspection for 7.30am.

Pat Keogh, chief executive at the home of Irish Flat racing, confirmed the course is currently unraceable after being hit by a volume of rain far in excess of what was forecast.

Keogh said: “We got lot more rain than we anticipated overnight. We were forecast 15 millimetres at the most in the last 24 hours, and got 35 millimetres.

“It’s come completely out of left field, unfortunately.

“The track would not be raceable today. Most of the track is raceable, but there are a few areas (that are waterlogged) and we will look to get that off the track.

“We’ll just have to monitor things as we go along. If more rain came than was forecast that would give us a problem.

“We’re hopeful, but we will have a precautionary inspection tomorrow morning.”

Saturday’s card is also set to feature three further Group races, while the Curragh is scheduled to stage the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup on Sunday.

Heavy rain resulted in morning inspections for both Friday’s jumps cards in Ireland too, at Wexford and Downpatrick.

Both those meetings will go ahead, however – on going which is heavy, soft in places at Wexford and yielding to soft, soft in places at Downpatrick.