Punters are in for a treat as ITV Racing has revealed that it will be showing 21 live races across next Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s Group 1 cards.
In the channel’s first live racing coverage since a behind-closed-doors fixture at Thurles on March 21, host Ed Chamberlin and his team are set to show seven races each day from June 5 to June 7.
Chamberlin and his regular broadcast partner Francesca Cumani will be joined by former Classic winning flat jockey Jason Weaver as they deliver the show from home.
Commentator Richard Hoiles will be based off site in a booth to call the races, while the Opening Show will also return on Saturday, June 6 on ITV4.
Oli Bell will present that programme from home, with input from Weaver, Hoiles and top odds pundit and presenter Matt Chapman.
Friday’s ITV4 coverage will show four live races from Newmarket, including the Group Coronation Cup – rerouted from Epsom – and Lingfield’s Oaks and Derby Trials.
The Qipco 2000 Guineas will take centre stage on Saturday’s Newmarket coverage on the main ITV channel, as well as the broadcaster showing three contests from Newcastle – including the Sagaro Stakes.
Sunday’s action consists of four live races from Newmarket, the highlight of which is the Qipco 1000 Guineas, along with action from Haydock.
The Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes, which has been switched from Sandown, is one of three contests that ITV will show from that track along with the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes and the Listed Spring Trophy Stakes.
The Opening Show will be shown live on Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am, while the live racing broadcasts will take place from 1.30pm to 4.00pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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Kameko delighting Balding ahead of 2000 Guineas bid
Trainer Andrew Balding has issued an upbeat report on Kameko ahead of his tilt at the Qipco 2000 Guineas for which he is currently a 10/1 shot with Unibet.
The Newmarket Classic is due to take centre stage on Saturday. June 6, in the planned resumption of racing next week following the coronavirus shutdown.
Kameko won two of his four starts as a youngster and ran out the impressive 3 1/4 length victor in the last of those when beating Inishfree in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle.
Balding is hopeful that the imposing son of Kitten’s joy can serve it up to red-hot favourite Pinatubo who is currently odds-on across the board in the ante post betting for the 1m colt’s Classic.
The Kingsclere handler told At The Races: “I’m really pleased with him. Obviously he had a quiet period through the winter months and we got him back into faster work around Cheltenham time when lockdown happened.
“At the time we were still hoping the Guineas might be on the original date, so we had a period where we were cranking up the intensity of the work and then obviously when we realised that wasn’t the case, he was let down a little bit.
“He had a gallop at Kempton last week and I couldn’t be happier with him at the moment. Oisin rode him in that and couldn’t have been happier with the way he went. He looks magnificent, he’s a lovely horse to have anything to do with and we’re all very excited.
“I think we have got him about as ready as we can for this first start of the season. On the work he is showing us at home he is as ready as he can be.”
2020 Shergar Cup cancelled
Ascot has cancelled this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup meeting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The team competition, which was scheduled for August 8, features four squads of international jockeys competing over six races at the Berkshire venue.
But with travel restrictions currently in place for some countries and crowds at sporting events prohibited for the immediate future, Ascot has decided to call off the event and will instead stage a normal raceday behind closed doors.
Director of racing and public affairs Nick Smith said: “Regrettably, given the complexities of flying jockeys around the world and uncertainty over what Governmental regulations will be in place at the time, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup won’t take place this year.”
Guy Henderson, chief executive at Ascot, added: “Following discussions with long-term event partners Dubai Duty Free, we decided that this event, even if logistically possible, wouldn’t be the same without crowds and that the best option was to plan ahead to return with the event in 2021.
“Our thanks go to Colm McLoughlin and the Dubai Duty Free team for their ongoing support of the competition.”
Ascot has also confirmed that its meetings until September will be run behind closed doors.