Horseracing in Britain, which was suspended by coronavirus on 18 March, is due, as I write, to resume on Monday 1 June at Newcastle. Some French tracks reopened last week but Irish racegoers will have to wait until 8 June. In all cases, including the belated staging of the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on 6 and 7 June, Royal Ascot from 16 to 20 June and the Derby and Oaks at Epsom on 4 July, it will be racing behind closed doors.
Thank you, France, for the hors d’oeuvre that served as a reminder of the hot form on the Flat of jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot and, over jumps, of François Nicolle, champion trainer for a second year last year. ‘PC’ broke many English hearts when he swooped past Enable to win last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Waldgeist and he holds the French record with 275 winners in the 2016 season.