By Ruth Le Cocq
THE Coinshares Les Landes racecourse is ready. The horses are fit. The Bailiff said ‘yes’. This Friday evening (25 June) the Jersey Race Club will hold its first meeting since August 2019.
A number of racehorses from the UK will be running alongside those locally owned and trained in what Jersey Race Club president Bunny Roberts says will be an exciting event after nearly two years without racing.
‘Everybody is so keen for this to go ahead. We’ve got 8 visitors with Neil Mulholland bringing six horses and Phil McEntree entering two. Local horses are also well represented in all five races,’ she said.
Bunny explained that the JRC is adhering to government restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and as a result there is no restriction on the number of spectators attending the event but social distancing is required and everybody must leave the venue by 10.30pm.
In addition, special arrangements are in place inside the members’ marquee with no bar service and those dining having already pre-ordered their food and drink.
‘This is a pilot scheme and we have taken every possible precaution and I think we’ve got it right,’ said Bunny.
She added that, if all goes well and further restrictions are not imposed, the same format will be implemented at race meetings throughout the remainder of the season.
The going is ‘the soft side of good’ and, although rabbits and moles wreaked havoc with the course when it was not being used, Bunny said it was now in ‘good shape’ with Jim Cantle, the new clerk of the course, having had help and advice from the ground staff and clerk at Windsor racecourse.
Racing starts at 6.30pm on Friday with the principal race being the Warwick Vase, a handicap over a mile-and-a-quarter. Racegoers are advised to arrive at least an hour before the first race so they can familiarise themselves and look at the race card. This gives information about the evening’s events and full race details including times, runners and riders.