Ed Chamberlin and Cornelius Lysaght both admit there’s a long way to go before we can be confident of racing in Britain resuming on June 1.
The pair appear weekly alongside David Ord and Ben Linfoot on the Sporting Life Racing Podcast and just over a week after it was confirmed that the start of next month was the earliest the sport could place again in Britain, a cautious approach is still advised.
Chamberlin said: “I think everyone got a bit of a shock on Luck On Sunday when that note of caution came from the BHA, I think a lot of people were thinking it was going to happen on June 1 come what may but we’re a fair way off that if we’re honest.
“There’s only so much the BHA can do – a few people are still having a go at them – but they’re doing everything they can in the circumstances. On Friday we’ll find out the race programme through to the end of June and before May 26 the procedures everyone will have to go through on a racecourse.
“But all that’s potentially irrelevant if the government decide against it. This isn’t just racing but sport as a whole and retail too. If the 'R', a letter we’re going to hear an awful lot more about, takes a spike then, even as late in the day as say the last Friday in May, then the government will have no hesitation, just as we saw in France on Tuesday with racing in Paris, in saying ‘No. Wait’,
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“I think it’s going to be very much a last-minute decision, dictated by that number, and if it’s at or close to 1 then they’ll say 'no it ain't happening'.
“In my opinion the BHA are doing a terrific job in getting us set, they’re doing everything they can, from what I can make out in setting out those procedures, setting out the itinerary, getting everyone ready to go.
“They’ll probably take entries on the Monday of the week of June 1 but unless the government, the public health department and the relevant medics say it’s ok for that second phase to kick off on June 1, then it isn’t happening.”
Lysaght admits the decision by the French government on Tuesday to suspend racing at the Paris tracks and others in the “red coronavirus zone” acted as a reality check.
“I think it’s a really important and good illustration on the uncertainty of everything. I was on the Luck On Sunday programme and going into that I thought it was a matter of racing being a fortnight away – then the Classics and Royal Ascot and away we go," he said.
“Then Nick started the programme by saying the BHA had said to him “we’re getting there but still have some way to go”. Then Frankie Dettori appeared and said ‘hopefully it will be June 1'.
“I don’t know whether this is partly due to the uncertainty of the situation and I do wonder if partly people are not wanting to tempt providence either, let’s be cautious so if something goes wrong at the last minute and there has to be a delay then it isn’t such a big shock.
“I though the French development summed it all up. We were looking across the Channel thinking ‘lucky them’ racing at Longchamp and elsewhere, and then that news comes.
“I must say the French racing authorities did very well to rejig everything as quickly as they did and I’m sure if there’s that kind of drama when things do resume here then the participants will be hoping a similar degree of speed and flexibility can be shown.
“If you can’t race at Kempton but can at Wolverhampton then clearly some kind of change needs to be made quickly.
“But it was all just a reality check. We’re thinking we’re on target for June 1, we’re looking across to France setting an example and then that happens. It’s all so uncertain and we just have to be cautious.”