It's has taken a long time but racing finally returns to our shores on Monday next, June 8, when Naas hosts Ireland's first meeting since the lockdown and while it is a behind-close-doors meeting, it is never the less a great step forward for everyone involved in the racing industry.
The meeting will be under strict protocols published by Horse Racing Ireland. One of which involves the prior health screening of all those who will be in attendance at Naas.
Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital sponsor the feature race, the listed Woodlands Sprint Stakes which is among two stakes races down for decision on Monday. Among the 14 entries for the contest is the interesting Denis Hogan trained Sceptical, who was purchased for just €2,800 and is bidding to make it four wins from five runs for the stable.
Aidan O’Brien holds one entry in the 5f contest, Sergei Prokofiev, successful in the Listed Cork Stakes at Navan last season, the son of Scat Daddy is looking to get his second career win at Naas.
Also joining Naas as a new sponsor is Michael Orlandi of Compas Stallions. The Ballydoyle team fields three in the Kuroshio at Compas Stallions Committed Stakes, headed by Group 3 winner, Lope Y Fernandez, Pistoletto and Southern Hills. Other notable entries are the Ger Lyons trained Peace Charter and last season’s Birdcatcher winner, For The Trees for Jessica Harrington.
With four maidens on the card some eye-catching newcomers include More Beautiful, half sister to Saxon Warrior and Baton Rouge full brother to Magician.
General Manager of Naas Racecourse, Eamonn McEvoy commented: "We are absolutely delighted for the industry as whole to see the return of racing and thrilled it’s been held at Naas Racecourse. We have worked closely with HRI and the IHRB to ensure all necessary protocols are in place. I would like to thank both parties for all their efforts with ensuring racing returns as safely as possible. Everyone in the industry should be thankful of the huge effort by their respective teams.
"We would also like to thank our sponsors Irish EBF, Clinton Higgins Chartered Accounts and we are delighted to welcome two new sponsors Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital and Compas Stallions.
The seven-race card is due to get underway at 2.55pm on Monday June 8.