RACING will return to Musselburgh on Tuesday, June 30, after it received the green light to kick start its flat season behind closed doors after the Scottish Government confirmed the return of professional sports in Phase 2 of the Covid-19 route map.

Musselburgh Racecourse will stage the first of five meeting on the last day of the month with fixtures also planned for Wednesday, July 1.

They will be followed by fixtures scheduled on Friday, July 10, Thursday, July 30, and Wednesday, August 26.

The first race in Scotland since the Covid outbreak takes place at Ayr this Monday (June 22).

It is expected other fixtures will be assigned by the British Horseracing Authority in due course to Musselburgh and Scotland’s other four racecourses.

Musselburgh’s management team has established procedures for hosting controlled meetings without spectators which meet the highest health and safety and bio-security standards and have been working closely with East Lothian Council and Police Scotland in preparation for the resumption of racing.

Bill Farnsworth, Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, welcomed the announcement and said Scottish racing was fully prepared to play a vital role in supporting owners, trainers and the wider horseracing sector.

He said: “Controlled horseracing meetings have been very successfully introduced in England, Ireland and a number of other countries and we are looking forward to playing our part in getting the wheels of the industry turning again in Scotland.”

Racing fans will be able to follow the action through a number of different options, including live screening on Racing TV, ITV Racing, on catch up via Racing TV Player, and through bookmakers websites for those who have accounts.

Joe FitzPatrick MSP, minister for public health,sport & wellbeing, said: “I’m sure that this news will be welcomed by racing fans across the country. The resumption of professional sports is another step towards some level of normality and its safe resumption is only possible thanks to a constructive relationship between the Scottish Government and bodies like Scottish Racing.”

Delly Innes, manager of Scottish Racing, said: “We are delighted to welcome the return of racing in Scotland after a long, but necessary, absence as Scotland faced the challenges of Covid-19. This has been an immensely challenging time for our five excellent racecourses, but this is an important first step on the road to recovery, and we will be working hard to ensure all our participants are familiar with, and adhere to Scottish rules and guidance where these differ from UK guidance.

“We are raring to go with an exciting programme of fixtures in the months ahead which will help support the wider Scottish and British racing industry, and provide entertainment to viewers across the country.”