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RTÉ set to benefit from Irish racing's return with increased televised coverage in June and July


RTE will beam live action from the Curragh, Leopardstown, Naas and Gowran Park from next month

RTE will beam live action from the Curragh, Leopardstown, Naas and Gowran Park from next month

RTE will beam live action from the Curragh, Leopardstown, Naas and Gowran Park from next month

Irish racing will return with a bang next month with increased coverage on RTÉ television on eight of the first 20 days, following the resumption of racing in Ireland at Naas on June 8.

A series of new one-hour evening programmes on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in June and early July will be led by Hugh Cahill with guest analysts joining regulars like Ruby Walsh, Jane Mangan and Ted 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.

Live RTÉ coverage returns for the first Classics of the Irish flat racing season at the Curragh – the Irish 2,000 Guineas on Friday, June 12 as well as the Irish 1000 Guineas on June 13.

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RTÉ Sport’s racing coverage will comply with all of the protocols around social distancing for behind closed doors meetings with Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) chief executive Brian Kavanagh delighted with the flexibility shown by the national broadcaster.

“RTÉ has always been very supportive of racing in Ireland and this 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," Kavanagh said.

“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 Declan McBennett expects the return of live sport to be appreciated by all with racing the only show in town as other sports are set to return at various stages of the five-phase plan to ease lockdown restrictions.

"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," McBennett said.

"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."

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RTÉ Racing in June on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player:

Friday June 12, Curragh

Saturday June 13, Curragh

Friday June 19, Gowran Park

Saturday June 20, Naas

Sunday June 21, Leopardstown

Friday June 26 - Curragh

Saturday June 27 - Curragh (The Irish Derby)

Sunday June 28 - Curragh

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