Dear Trainer,

I am writing to let you know about the updated procedures and steps we have taken to ensure you and your staff are as safe as possible when visiting Newbury Racecourse ahead of racing on Saturday 15 August 2020 for Unibet Hungerford Raceday. We also wanted to let you know that any owners attending this weekend will be looked after in the Owners Club following a slight easing of restrictions and there will be a much improved hospitality on offer which is positive step forward, which we hope is welcome.

To ensure the continued smooth return of racing at Newbury Racecourse, the following details will set out what you can expect when your horse runs on Saturday, in chronological order.

The racecourse stable will be open four and a half hours before the first race on racedays, with a checkpoint in place in Car Park 2 (Owners & Trainers car park) to ensure compliance with all safety protocols. Overnight stays for stable staff are now permitted in the Lodge and should have already been booked in.

Upon arrival, all relevant paperwork will be checked and temperatures of staff taken. If all is in order, staff will be issued with wristbands in order to allow my colleagues at checkpoints on the racecourse to quickly recognise all have satisfactorily passed screening at the stables.

Once through the check point the horse boxes will proceed to the racecourse stables to be unloaded.  Horses will enter the stables via the back gate next to the loading ramp, NOT via the archway at the front of the stables, where they will be scanned by the BHA EWIO, then follow the one-way system.

Trainers will be directed to Car Park 2 Overflow and follow temperature checks and procedures for access to the racecourse.

A one-way system of movement, clearly marked out will be in operation in and around the weighing room, meaning there will be no access to the weighing room itself for stable staff. Colour bags are to be deposited on a table inside the Berkshire Stand next to the relevant race number to be collected by the valet. After the race, the valet will return the bag to this same location for collection. Access to this area will be via the entrance to the Berkshire Stand, not via the entrance to the Weighing Room.

The Berkshire Stand will have a strict one-way system in place, but trainers can access the first floor for the viewing balcony, washroom facilities, and waiting area if required. 

Horses are to be saddled up in the pre-parade ring as normal. 

Once a jockey has weighed out, he or she should place their saddle on a table provided outside the weighing room for the relevant trainer or assistant to collect.

Access to the parade ring is strictly limited. Trainers and jockeys should proceed to the parade ring lawn where they will find social distancing lines marked out to allow for pre-race discussions.

Entry to the parade ring will only be granted to those wearing a face mask and it is vital for all participants to keep in mind that ITV and Racing TV’s cameras will be pointed at this area throughout the day. It is therefore of the utmost importance that social distancing and hygiene measures are taken seriously, as any on-camera evidence suggesting the opposite would be damaging for the sport in what remains a precarious phase.

In order to keep owners as updated as possible, trainers will be permitted to record a video of their conversation with the jockey(s) in the parade ring on a mobile phone and share via email, WhatsApp or Racing Manager. Live calls via Facetime is also permitted. We ask however that you do not post these videos on any social media channels, as we are bound by media rights restrictions.

After each race, the winner and placed horses will proceed to the winner’s enclosure, while the remaining runners will be unsaddled in the usual area.

As you will be aware, we will be welcoming three owners per runner at Saturday’s meeting and they will be hosted in the Owners Club. The owners debrief zone is between the Weighing Room and the parade ring, just beyond the entrance to paddock.

Stable staff and trainers may watch races on the big screen from outside the parade ring or track-side from the steppings on the Berkshire Stand/Hampshire Stand or lawn area in the Premier Enclosure. Please note that there will be no big screens on the far side of the track as usual. 

We will be providing complimentary tea and coffee from the Many Clouds bar and trainers and/or their representative will also be able to get soup and sandwiches from here. Washroom facilities will be open on the first floor of the Berkshire Stand and for stable staff in The Lodge.

Finally, thanks to our sponsors on the day, Unibet, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, Denford Stud and the EBF, a Best Turned Out will be awarded for every race. Winners mementos have been provided for the winning owner of every race and will be either available for collection on the day by the owner or will be sent out following the raceday directly.

We are really looking forward to welcoming you tomorrow for what promises to be a great afternoon of top quality and competitive action.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

With best wishes,

Keith Ottesen