German racing restart postponed as Dortmund cancels Monday comeback

Monday's planned resumption of racing in Germany after the coronavirus shutdown has been postponed with Dortmund's eight-race card called off.
They’re off … except they’re not. Dortmund’s Monday card has been postponed.
Photo: Marc Rühl/deutscher-galopp.de

By Nicholas Godfrey

Germany: The planned resumption of German racing on May 4 will be further delayed after Dortmund announced that Monday’s scheduled eight-race card has been postponed.

Update: German racing finally gets green light to return at Hanover on Thursday

Dortmund Racing Club issued a statement on Saturday morning saying the behind-closed-doors meeting would not take place on Monday because of revised coronavirus legislation issued on May 1 in the North Rhine-Westphalia region.

“In consultation with the city of Dortmund, there is no short-term chance of ensuring legally compliant way to implement racing,” the statement explained. “That is why the racing club, in coordination with the DVR (Deutscher Galopp), decided today not to carry out Monday’s races and to reschedule at a later date. The new date will be announced earlier this week.”

After shutting down its racing programme last month owing to coronavirus, Germany published a revised six-week programme for the planned restart. The next scheduled meeting is at Hanover on Thursday.

Dortmund racing club president Andreas Tiedtke has been left “frustrated and disappointed” by the late cancellation.

“While visits to the zoo are now open to paying spectators and museums, our breeders, professionals and racing clubs are left with the massive restrictions on our fundamental rights,” he claimed.

“Where is the sense of proportion with these measures when a person is allowed in a zoo with only ten square metres of space while we could grant 120 square metres per person of space to professionals only?”

• More about German racing at the Deutscher Galopp website

Jim Crowley: lockdown dreams of Battaash, Khaadem, Enbihaar – and that elusive Classic first

Earthlight set for Classic prep if France gets go-ahead, says Andre Fabre

All dressed up and nowhere to go: coronavirus stalls overseas mission for ‘Frankel of the Fjords’