Jumps racing set to return on July 1 with meeting at Southwell

HORSE racing over obstacles is set to return to action in the UK behind closed doors on Wednesday, July 1.

Southwell will stage the first National Hunt meeting for three months, after the coronavirus pandemic locked down the sport.

Horseracing in this country ended abruptly on March 17, the day after Staffordshire Moorlands trainer Jennie Candlish signed off with two winners at the Kelso jumps meeting.

Southwell executive director Mark Clayton is delighted that the Nottinghamshire course has been chosen stage the return National Hunt meeting.

"I think it shows faith in Southwell providing the summer jumping ground that we do," he said.

"For a long while we have been known for providing good, safe ground and a big part of that is down to the team we have in place and to the estates manager Simon Davis, who's been here for 31 years.

"It will be more of a show for those watching on television than those here, who will be a minimal number on the day, but we're looking forward to having a good race programme and a decent number of horses.

"It could be Brian Hughes's first appearance as champion jump jockey. We'd love to be able to mark his achievement but we'll have to see what we can do within the health guidelines."

Picture: Racing is set to return to Southwell but without the crowds.

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