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Paris race tracks closed again...
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Paris race tracks closed again as government changes COVID-19 policy

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19:45 19 May 2020

The resumption of racing in France has suffered a massive blow with tracks in Paris ordered to close once again.

Racing had only resumed in the country on May 11.

The French government, however, have moved to stop racing in regions it says are still heavily effected by coronavirus.

The so-called 'red zone' regions are Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand-Est, Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France.

It means Longchamp, Saint-Cloud and Auteuil must all once again close their gates to bloodstock.

Racing organisers France Galop can still organise races in the other nine regions still dubbed 'green zones'.

The sport has been the first to return across Europe.

Horses returned to the track in Germany last week, while in Ireland a June 8 return behind closed doors has been flagged for Naas.

They're due to resume in the UK on June 1.

France Galop president Edouard de Rothschild has described the decision to close tracks in the 'red zones' as "inexplicable and irrational".

He defiantly wrote on Twitter, "I will not give in. I am proud of your exemplary behaviour behind closed doors since May 11 and the colossal work undertaken by our teams for more than two months.

"We have been and will be reactive. Long live racing!"

France Galop have already begun rearranging cards.

The cards planned for Longchamp on Thursday and Sunday have both been switched to Deauville.

Another of Thursday's cards at Strasbourg has been postponed.

Fontainebleau's flat card for Saturday is switched to Vichy, while Friday's jump meeting at Compiègne has been moved to Dieppe.

In a statement, France Galop say: "Some regions such as Paris had already anticipated the publication of the decree by notifying France Galop and LeTrot this morning of the ban on opening their racetracks.

"The teams are working on reorganisation plans for the May and June calendar and will announce as soon as possible where the meetings that were scheduled in the red zone will take place.

"This calendar will be subject to change as soon as a red zone turns green."

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Coronavirus Covid-19 France France Galop

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