Racing in Italy set to restart on Tuesday

Racing is to resume from Tuesday in Italy, one of Europe's worst-hit countries from the coronavirus, with a behind-closed-doors meeting scheduled for Capannelle in Rome.

An agreement was made on Friday following a number of protests around the country, notably Pisa, Naples and Milan. Another protest was scheduled in Rome on Monday before the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, along with health and agriculture ministers, confirmed the sport could resume from May 25. 

The meetings must be held behind closed doors and racing has been permitted to return because of its role in supporting the Italian economy, while the suspension had stopped income for many in the industry. The strict measures will last until July.

Capannelle will host racing on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. San Siro in Milan – one of the worst hit regions by the coronavirus outbreak – will host racing on Wednesday.

The Italian 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas are scheduled for Sunday with the Derby Italiano on June 21 and Premio Oaks a week later.

Among those vying for the sport to resume was the Aipacaa's, the equivalent of the owners' association, president Gian Mario Carboni.

He told newspaper L'Unione Sarda: "France and Germany have started running again behind closed doors for about ten days, we must do it too because the losses are huge and concern thousands of workers including jockeys, trainers, breeders, craftsmen, veterinarians, farriers, judges and all related activities related to the horse, which produces more than two jobs for each specimen. And on the island we have 500 sport horses to remain only to those who compete, without mentioning the mares and the foals."