Irish horses banned from UK travel under new Covid-19 rules

Henry de Bromhead has had to abandon his Kempton Christmas plans in light of new coronavirus restrictions.

The Irish trainer hoped to run Monalee and Put The Kettle On at the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase meeting.

But he has been forced into a rethink after the Irish Government extended its travel ban on Britain until December 31, in response to the new mutant strain of Covid-19.

“Obviously it’s disappointing, but that’s just the way the cards have fallen and that’s the way it is," De Bromhead said.

Under guidance from Horse Racing Ireland, no horses or jockeys should go to the UK to compete in the designated period.

In addition, no UK-based horses will be allowed to run in Ireland during that time.

HRI Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh said: “The concern from Government is very clear: these are exceptional times and a travel ban with the UK is a once-in-a-generation occurrence.

“Irish racing has followed Government advice at all times during Covid-19 and will continue to do so.

"In that regard, we are advising that no Irish-trained horses or jockeys should travel to the UK for competition between now and December 31, and no UK horses or jockeys should travel in the opposite direction.”

The ban was initially set to last 48 hours – and follows a number of countries stopping UK travellers.

Crowds will not be in attendance at Kempton due to Tier 3 restrictions.

As well as De Bromhead, Gordon Elliott has had to scrap plans to be represented by Duffle Coat at Chepstow on December 27, while Denis Hogan had Moyhenna engaged in the feature Coral Welsh National.

Bookmakers Betfair, Paddy Power, Coral and Ladbrokes pledged to refund bets staked on ante-post markets.

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