HORSERACING will return in Chepstow at a behind closed doors meeting this month.

The course will host a fixture on Monday, June 15 with a further 11 dates in the diary at the venue up until September.

Racing returned in Newcastle today after being suspended since March 17 and now Chepstow is preparing to open up.

Executive director Phil Bell said: "We are delighted to welcome the return to racing in Wales.

“There will be a lot of work to do for everyone to adapt the way we run race meetings and meet the stringent safety requirements that have been set out by BHA but we are very much looking forward to meeting the challenging and getting back to work"

South Wales Argus:

The BHA has released protocols for racing behind closed doors to protect employees and participants.

Number at the course are limited and all are subject to a three-stage screening process, including an online education test, a health questionnaire and temperature checks on arrival.

Social distancing officers on racecourses will ensure compliance with Welsh government regulations.

Chief executive of the BHA, Nick Rust said: “I’m delighted to see the return of racing in Wales at Chepstow next month as ensuring that racing gets back up and running in all three nations of Britain has been a priority of the BHA in recent weeks as we look to maintain our nationwide footprint, and provide opportunities for trainers based in devolved administrations.

“The focus of our plans is on returning safely and I believe the public can be reassured by the measures we have put in place.

“Our participants have made sure they understand all that will be asked of them when they attend a meeting.

“Their priority, like ours, is to ensure continued observance of social distancing rules and prevent the virus spreading.”

Ffos Las and Bangor-on-Dee will also have meetings in the coming months but the majority of Welsh races will be at Chepstow.

South Wales Argus:

Meanwhile, Zodiakos wrote his name into the record books with victory in the first race in Britain following the coronavirus shutdown.

After Government approval was granted on Saturday, racing was the first major professional sport to resume in Britain with its first meeting since March 17.

And Zodiakos claimed a piece of history by finishing first in the Betway Welcome Back British Racing Handicap at Newcastle.

At the head of affairs right from the off, the Roger Fell-trained gelding bowled along in the mile contest under his jockey James Sullivan, who like all riders was wearing a face mask as part of the strict hygiene protocols in place.

His better-fancied stablemate Al Ozzdi came there strongly two furlongs out in the hands of Ben Curtis, but while he took a definite advantage at one stage, the 22-1 winner fought back gallantly and was a neck to the good at the line.

Im Sophie took victory at Perry Barr as greyhound racing was the first sport to return following lockdown.

Racing got under way with the first event at 10.21am, with 6/1 shot Im Sophie winning from Peachstreet Jack and Dungarvan Hobo.