There's an old adage that "if you don't have something good to say, then you shouldn't say anything at all" and that seems to have been the approach adopted by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) over the past week.
There was widespread shock in the racing industry last Friday when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced his five-phase plan to ease lockdown restrictions with Irish racing on the back burner until June 29 and great confusion ensuing over its place under the Department of Agriculture's remit.
The greatest surprise came from within the upper echelons of HRI with chief executive Brian Kavanagh regularly stating that they were "racing ready" to make their return when the green light came from government officials.
Varadkar's address knocked them for six given that returning behind closed doors on May 18 was at the forefront of their plans and amazingly, it wasn't until six days later that their first public comment on the matter was issued.
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No holding statement from the governing body, no words to put people's minds at ease that negotiations were ongoing to try and resume racing as soon as possible while still obeying social distancing.
Leading trainer Sheila Lavery was one of many left dismayed at the "deafening silence" from HRI in racing's greatest hour of need as those at the coalface remained in the dark about their future.
"What I don't understand is why the governors of our industry are so silent. There is nothing, absolutely nothing. It leaves you feeling very vulnerable and it leaves you wondering are the people in charge actually in charge? When you look at the size of the industry, it is absolutely bizarre what's going on," Lavery told the Irish Independent.
Lavery and others were at least kept in the loop yesterday with Varadkar revealing that Irish racing has been earmarked to return in Phase Three of the plan on June 29.
Considering that many hoped that action would return in time for the Irish Guineas meeting to go ahead as planned on May 23/24 at the Curragh, this outcome is potentially disastrous as they could wait another six weeks on the sidelines.
HRI finally broke their silence last night by outlining that talks have been "ongoing" with government departments behind the scenes - this surely could have been revealed sooner? - and that "constructive engagement" is taking place to help speed up their resumption date.
"The Taoiseach stated in the Dáil that the Government would examine proposals from sectors of the economy wishing to have restrictions lifted earlier than scheduled in the Government's roadmap, and HRI is availing of this offer," the HRI statement read.
Kavanagh, tight-lipped in the past week, hopes to "safely resume sooner rather than later" citing the success of their 10 behind closed doors meetings in March, where the government's safety guidelines were strictly adhered to.
"Prior to March 24, race fixtures were among the last group of Tier 2 commercial activities to continue with ten fixtures staged safely behind closed doors with only key personnel permitted on site," Kavanagh said yesterday.
"Horse Racing Ireland's Covid-19 protocols which were in place for those fixtures have been further strengthened in the meantime and we feel that the industry can safely resume sooner rather than later and we will continue to engage with Government on that basis."
With French racing returning on Monday, Germany back in action yesterday and England's return date to be learned this weekend the Irish industry could potentially be decimated in the short-term if it is left in the wilderness.
HRI hold hope of a compromise and returning during Phase Two on June 8 and while safety is paramount, time is of the essence to stem the losses and lift the gloom from the €2billion industry.