Irish racing will return next month to increased coverage on RTÉ television with confirmation today of a series of new one-hour evening programmes on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in June and early July.
In an announcement that will see live terrestrial coverage of Irish racing on eight of the first 20 days following the resumption of racing in Ireland on June 8, live RTÉ coverage returns for the first Classics of the Flat racing season at the Curragh, the Irish 2000 Guineas on June 12 and the Irish 1000 Guineas on June 13.
And outside of the traditional Classics weekend coverage, RTÉ will broadcast new hour-long evening programmes on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player on consecutive Friday, Saturday and Sundays, with ten extra meetings confirmed up to mid-July.
Hugh Cahill will present the new run of live coverage with guest analysts joining regulars Jane Mangan, Ted Walsh and Ruby Walsh.
The new programmes will run from 7-8pm on Friday evenings and 5-6pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and will have two live races with previews and analysis, interviews from the track, as well as replays from action earlier that evening.
All of RTÉ Sport’s racing coverage will comply with Horse Racing Ireland’s Covid-19 protocols around social distancing for behind closed doors meetings.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said:
“RTÉ has always been very supportive of racing in Ireland and today’s announcement confirms that commitment. The new one-hour evening programmes are an opportunity for Irish racing to attract people to our sport and educate those new fans on what makes racing so exciting.
“We appreciate the flexibility shown by the RTÉ team around the new dates for the Irish Guineas in June and really look forward to their live coverage of our opening Classics, as well as this new departure.”
Group Head of Sport at RTÉ, Decan McBennett, said:
"Live Sport is an integral part of Irish life and RTÉ Sport is delighted that it is returning across all RTÉ platforms. For everything that it brings in terms of physical exercise, mental wellbeing, social and community cohesion and economic stimulation the benefit of sport will again be appreciated by all. Horse Racing in this country is a key component of that and Horse Racing Ireland are to be commended for getting racing back in a safe and responsible manner."
RTÉ Racing in June on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player -
Friday 12th June, Curragh
Saturday 13th June, Curragh
Friday 19th June, Gowran Park
Saturday 20th June, Naas
Sunday 21st June, Leopardstown
June 26th - Curragh
June 27th - Curragh (The Irish Derby)
June 28th - Curragh