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Royal Ascot set for go-ahead behind closed doors in traditional June slot

  • BHA reveals plans for Classics and Ascot from June
  • Guineas on first weekend in June and Derby in July

Royal Ascot is odds-on to be the first major British sporting event to take place behind closed doors this summer after the British Horseracing Authority confirmed its intended timetable for a series of major races, including the first four Classics of the season.

It will be a Royal meeting like no other if the five-day event opens as scheduled on 16 June, with no Royal procession, morning suits or millinery and without the Queen in attendance for the first time in her 68-year reign. However, with eight of the Flat season’s Group One races – the most valuable and prestigious contests in the sport – due to be run at the meeting, staging Royal Ascot in its traditional slot in the calendar would be a major boost to an industry that has been idle since the lockdown began in mid-March.

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