Aidan O’Brien relieved as latest resumption plans mean international runners can race at Royal Ascot and Guineas


AIDAN O’BRIEN let out a sigh of relief as the latest racing resumption plans WILL allow international runners to compete in the big races.

The BHA will target a return from June 1 with the Guineas and Royal Ascot part of a busy month aimed at getting the Flat season back on track.

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Credit: PA:Press Association

The 1000 and 2000 Guineas are pencilled in for June 6 and 7 and the Ballydoyle maestro will be licking his lips as his Irish string will be allowed to race.

With Irish racing doubtful to have returned by early June, the Irishman could line up his biggest raiding party to date.

O’Brien has dominated the 2000 and 1000 Guineas of late and did the double last year with Magna Grecia and Hermosa.

The Brits thought they may escape his might this summer with original resumption plans set to BAN international challengers from the early season.

But once again the O’Brien and Ballydoyle powerhouse could haunt Charlie Appleby and Roger Charlton who had thought their Pinatubo and Quadrilateral may have it easy.

French trainer Andre Fabre could also be booking a ferry over with his exciting Earthlight.

The same rules apply to Royal Ascot which escaped a fright and will be run over five days from June 16.

Wesley Ward’s US sprinters will be allowed on the plane across but the meeting’s race schedule will be altered to ensure Derby and Oaks hopefuls are given more time prior to Epsom.

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Two-year-old races are set to remain and the BHA hope to give trainers ample time to get a run into their youngsters beforehand.

No punters and owners will be on course and the usual top hats and champagne will be a non-runner.

The second batch of Classics – the Investec Derby and Oaks – will be run on one afternoon in a behind closed doors extravaganza pencilled in for July 4.

Again the Ballydoyle tanks will be firmly parked on the Epsom Downs drive for a race that means the world to the Coolmore empire.

The Coral Eclipse has been pushed back a day and will be for four-year-olds and up only, as part of an epic weekend of racing.

The exact timetable for the resumption will remain subject to agreement from the government. A further setback will leave the remainder of the Flat season decimated.

But the original plan for the first seven days of any restart will still be used and more details on that will be released in the coming days.

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