RTE strengthens live racing coverage starting with Irish Guineas weekend

RTE, Ireland’s national broadcaster, revealed on Tuesday it would be cranking up its coverage of live Irish racing this summer, beginning on Guineas weekend at the Curragh on June 12 and 13. 

In addition to the first Classics of the Flat campaign, RTE Sport will cover ten additional meetings that will include all the best action from the Irish season. 

Following on from Guineas weekend, RTE2 and RTE Player will have live racing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening until July 13.

Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “RTE has always been very supportive of racing in Ireland and today’s announcement confirms that commitment. 

"The new one-hour evening programmes are an opportunity for Irish racing to attract people to our sport and educate those new fans on what makes racing so exciting.”

He added: “We appreciate the flexibility shown by the RTE team around the new dates for the Irish Guineas in June and really look forward to their live coverage of our opening Classics, as well as this new departure.”

RTE Sport's racing coverage will comply with HRI’s Covid-19 protocols around social distancing for behind-closed-doors meetings. 

Group head of sport at RTE, Declan McBennett, said: "Live sport is an integral part of Irish life and RTE Sport is delighted that it is returning across all RTE platforms. For everything that it brings in terms of physical exercise, mental well-being, social and community cohesion and economic stimulation the benefit of sport will again be appreciated by all.”

He added: “Horseracing in this country is a key component of that and HRI are to be commended for getting racing back in a safe and responsible manner."

As well as showing live coverage from Guineas weekend at the Curragh, RTE will broadcast from Gowran Park on June 19, Naas on June 20 and Leopardstown on June 21. Derby weekend at the Curragh, which takes place from June 26 to June 28, will also be shown live.