ITV Racing is set for a high-profile return next week, with 21 live races to be screened over three days, beginning at Newmarket and Lingfield on Friday.

It will be the channel’s first broadcast since Thurles in Ireland was shown on March 21 and will hosted by Ed Chamberlin from his home ‘studio’.

Seven races will be shown each day and taking centre stage on the first afternoon at Newmarket is the Coronation Cup, followed by the Qipco-sponsored 2000 and 1000 Guineas on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Lingfield’s Derby and Oaks trials also feature, while the Sagaro Stakes at Newcastle is another highlight of the Saturday fare and the Brigadier Gerard Stakes will be shown from Haydock on Sunday.

Francesca Cumani will also be part of ITV’s home-based team, as will Jason Weaver and all the direction and production team of the show, using innovative technology and adhering to social-distancing guidelines. Richard Hoiles will be based off site in a commentary booth.

The Opening Show will return on 2000 Guineas day, on ITV4 from 9.30-10.30am, presented from home by Oli Bell, who will be joined Weaver, Hoiles and Matt Chapman.

Upcoming racing fixtures

Monday, June 1

Newcastle FLAT, 1pm

Tuesday, June 2

Kempton Park FLAT, 1pm

Wednesday, June 3

Kempton Park FLAT, 1pm

Thursday, June 4

Newcastle FLAT, 1pm

Newmarket FLAT, 1.15pm

Friday, June 5

Saturday, June 6

Sunday, June 7

Monday, June 8

Chelmsford City FLAT, 12pm

Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien

O'Brien's potential plans

Aidan O’Brien has outlined potential running plans for some of his stable stars, including star mare Magical, who is back in training.

The daughter of Galileo – the subject of so many battles with the mighty Enable – was a popular winner of the Qipco Champion Stakes on British Champions Day at Ascot in October and was due to head to the Breeders’ Cup afterwards before being covered by No Nay Never.

In the end the multiple Group One winner did not travel to Santa Anita after developing a temperature and connections had a rethink on calling time on her career. A trip to Royal Ascot could be possible, but an outing at the Curragh on June 28 appears more likely.

O’Brien said: “Magical is back in training and I think she might be entered in the Prince of Wales’s, but it’s possible she might not start until the Pretty Polly. We were lucky the lads agreed they would leave her for the year.

“She’s only five this year and she’s done very well physically.”

O’Brien also has news of leading Investec Derby contender Mogul and his year-older brother Japan.

He said: “We are thinking of going to the Derrinstown (Derby Trial, at Leopardstown on June 9) with Mogul, but obviously these things can change.

“With Japan we are thinking of going to the Prince of Wales’s at the moment. Like I say, all these things can change, but I think that’s what we’re thinking at the moment.”

Surprise Irish Derby hero Sovereign has not run since his victory at the Curragh at the end of June, but is on the comeback trail, while Kew Gardens is poised to head straight to Ascot for the Gold Cup.

O’Brien added: “Sovereign is back in training, he’s done four bits of work back and we’re just trying to go gentle with him and thinking of the autumn with him. He might have a run in the middle of the summer, but that’s what we’re trying to do, aim him at an autumn campaign.

“Kew Gardens is in good form and if he’s going to Ascot he’ll go there without a run. He was ready to run in Dubai and we were hoping to go to Leopardstown or Navan, but it’s all been a bit of a mess for him really.

“The plan then was to give him a little rest and come back to Ascot. We’re hoping to get him to Ascot, he’ll be there without a run and we’ll how we get on after that.”

A general view of the main stand at Ayr racecourse
A general view of the main stand at Ayr racecourse

Scottish restart

Plans are being made for racing to recommence in Scotland at Ayr on June 22, subject to Government approval.

No racing has taken place in Britain since March 17, although it is hoped action will resume behind closed doors at Newcastle on Monday.

An update to trainers from the cross-industry Resumption of Racing Group on Thursday said: “Scottish Racing has today confirmed that it is making plans for resumption of racing behind closed doors on Monday June 22, in accordance with the Scottish Government’s route map for exiting lockdown.

“Discussions are taking place between Scottish Racing and the Scottish Government to support these provisional fixtures, during Phase 2 of public health restrictions.

“This is a provisional schedule to assist with your planning, which remains subject to the public health situation in Scotland and the ongoing discussions with the Scottish Government.”

Classic Trial

Born With Pride is among a number of promising types entered for the Classic Trial at Kempton on Wednesday.

The daughter of Born To Sea has only Quadrilateral ahead of her with most firms in the ante-post market on the Investec-sponsored Oaks, after a 20-1 success in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes on her only juvenile start in November.

The Epsom showpiece is scheduled for July 4 this year and, should racing restart as hoped next week, William Haggas has pencilled in his filly for the 10-furlong contest at the Sunbury venue, which hosts the race this year rather than its traditional home of Sandown.

Eleven feature and John Gosden’s once-raced colt Hypothetical is another who will command plenty of attention, having impressed on his sole start at Chelmsford in December. Gosden has also entered Godolphin-owned Newbury winner Encipher. Max Vega has been given an entry by Ralph Beckett, while Pyledriver is held in high regard by William Muir.

Along with Born With Pride and Hypothetical, other unbeaten runners in contention for the Group Three event are Bright Melody (Charlie Appleby), Cepheus (Brian Meehan) and Yes My Boy (Archie Watson).

A quality card also sees the EBF Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes, which has three Gosden possibles in the 27 – Nazeef, Scentasia and Shimmering.

With Yarmouth racing on the same day, trainers have again supported both meetings, with 537 entries received – 281 at Kempton and 256 at Yarnouth.

Arizona impressed in a strong renewal of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot
Arizona impressed in a strong renewal of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot

Arizona Guineas hope

Arizona will lead Aidan O’Brien’s quest for a fourth consecutive victory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket next week.

The Ballydoyle trainer has won the colts’ Classic 10 times in total and was successful 12 months ago with Magna Grecia, having struck in 2018 with Saxon Warrior and Churchill in 2017.

It would be a fifth Guineas in six years for O’Brien and he is happy with Arizona, who landed the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and ended the campaign strongly, finishing second to Pinatubo in the Dewhurst and running better than his fifth placing suggests in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.

O’Brien said: “The horses have been ticking over, but obviously every time you think you had a target and put a sight on it, the next thing the target moves and you have to change again, so it’s a little bit tricky and horses do feel that.

“It’s unusual and strange, but all we can do is do our best and see where they all land. Everything seems good at the moment and everyone seems happy, but we won’t really know until we get going where the horses are and we’ll get a better picture. But so far, so good really.”

Wichita – another son of No Nay Never – is set to join Arizona, while three other stablemates are in contention.

O’Brien said: “I suppose there’s the two No Nay Never colts and then there’s New World Tapestry, Royal Dornoch and Royal Lytham, that’s kind of what we are thinking at the moment. Fort Myers and Vatican City might wait for the Irish Guineas.

“It’s not straightforward this year, but we talk to the lads most days and see what they are thinking. They are the kind of horses we think we might be entering at this stage.

“Will the Irish 2,000 Guineas be too close to Ascot – that’s what we have to work out, probably the horses we are going to run at Ascot will have to run at Newmarket. That makes it a little bit tricky for us, but that’s what we’re thinking and we could run three, we could run four.

“It would be unusual a horse could back up that quickly after the Irish Guineas (and go to Ascot), but who knows, you never know.”

He added: “Arizona is in good form, everything has gone well with him. Obviously we had our eye on the first weekend of May, but he seems to be in good form. He was getting ready for that, then we just eased back a little bit.

“He’s a big, rangy, scopey horse and we always thought he would improve from two to three and it would suit him being a three-year-old. We’ll see – he ran a very good race to win the Coventry and ran some very good races after that. We think he’s ready to start.

“You never know (if will stay a mile) until they start doing it, but we always felt he would get a mile. I’m not sure how much further he’d get, but he travels well and is usually coming home in his races.

“He’s a straightforward horse, a good traveller and he likes nice ground. We’ve been looking forward to running him.”