Irish raiders set to travel over to Britain over the Christmas period to race in the big events across the countries have today been dealt a fresh blow after the Irish government has extended its travel ban on Britain until December 31st.
This effectively means that any horses that were coming across to race between the two nations will now have to change their plans as this will now be against the rules.
The horses and trainers that this will affect the most will be Monalee for Henry De Bromhead who had a live chance in the King George VI Chase and another big hitter for the trainer who will not be able to race is Put The Kettle On, with the mare set to take on Altior on December 27th in the Desert Orchid Chase.
Gordon Elliott is another trainer who had options of racing some of his juveniles at Chepstow on the 27th, with horses like Duffle Coat and Quilixios having an entry in the Grade One Finale Juvenile Hurdle, but will now have to find alternative contests in Ireland.
From a British perspective Olly Murphy was set to run 2019 Supreme Novices' Hurdle second Thomas Darby at Leopardstown, with the handler bullish about his geldings chances.
(Credit Racing Post) Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh said: “Based on the government's policy, HRI has instructed that there will be no Irish runners in the UK or UK runners in Ireland between now and December 31.
"The only exceptions to that ban are for essential supply chains and services. It's unfortunate but there are bigger issues at play. However it was pleasing that the government did announce that racing will continue behind closed doors, which gives us some certainty."