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Torrens can’t wait to get back in the saddle

IRISH horse racing will resume at Naas on June 8th with the first 
behind closed doors meeting since March 24th.

The Irish 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas will take place on the first weekend back at the Curragh on June 12th and 13th. The Irish Derby retains its traditional date on Saturday, June 27th, as does the Irish Oaks on Saturday, July 18th.

Flat racing will dominate the first two weeks of the revised calendar 
while National Hunt racing will resume with action at Limerick on 
Monday, June 22nd and Castlederg native, Simon Torrens is delighted to  be returning to action after a two and a half month.

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The talented jockey, who was enjoying a stellar season, which included two wins in the final week before competition stopped in late March riding JPMcManus’s Golden Sunset to victory at Downpatrick during Ulster National day in the Tote Supporting Downpatrick Handicap Steeplechase and he followed that success with a win two days later on Ask Heather in the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Steeplechase at Clonmel where he also picked up two second placed finishes.

“It can’t come around quick enough!,” exclaimed the 23-year-old, who might dip his toe into flat racing when the action resumes.

He added: “I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve been working away over the last two months, trying to keep my self fit, but I’m looking forward to getting back into a bit of a routine because I’m sick of power-washing and painting stables!

“It will be great to get back doing what you enjoy. There was chat 
that there would only be flat racing for a month, but luckily enough 
the actual jump racing itself is going to be back on the 22nd of June.

“I can still ride on the flat off top heavyweight but I’m just looking 
forward to getting back because it gives you a bit of purpose rather 
than just getting up, going to work and doing the same thing day in 
and day out. At least you can head off and go to different places.”

A range of new protocols will be introduced to ensure that social 
distancing measures are adhered to as racing resumes.

Each fixture will have a dedicated Covid-19 protocol officer who will 
ensure that only key personnel are present at the meetings, while 
health and thermal temperature screening will take place on arrival.

Mandatory face coverings will be worn by ‘most’ of those in attendance.

However, having experienced racing behind closed doors with strict 
protocols during the final two weeks of racing in March, the Tyrone 
man believes it will be a similar experience when the sport resumes 
next month..

“I wouldn’t imagine it will be much different to when it was behind 
closed doors before,” he said.

“It’s behind closed doors again and they did a good job the first time around when safety was the paramount thing and I’d imagine it will be again.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB