Return of Sport: French racing to resume on Monday as UK targets 15 May

Horseracing at Longchamp, Paris
Racing resumes at Longchamp on Monday 10 May

The return of sport is edging closer, with French horseracing, Korean football and UFC all set to take place in the coming days. Max Liu has the details and the latest odds...

"The action takes place in Florida on Saturday night/Sunday morning for UK viewers, with Tony Ferguson 1.594/7 headlining against Justin Gaethje 2.6213/8."

Horseracing is 1.454/9 to take place in the UK on or before 1 June after it was reported that the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is hopeful of being able to hold racing behind closed doors from 15 May.

Nobody is taking anything for granted but there is increasing optimism that it will be possible to stage events in the next few weeks. BHA chief executive Nick Rust said that racing would be able to go ahead within a week of the go-ahead from the government.

French racing resumes on Monday and we'll have daily tips

There has been no racing in the UK since 17 March and the same is true in France. Racing is, however, set to resume across the Channel next week, starting at Longchamp on Monday. We'll have daily tips from racing columnist Patrick Weaver and the experts at Timeform.

Last year's French Derby winner Sottsass is expected to take part at the meeting and the unbeaten Victor Ludorum, favourite for the French 2,000 Guineas, could be among the other runners.

Bettors give Royal Ascot 50/50 chance

In the UK, the final two weekends in May could see some big races, with 16 Group races provisionally planned to be run behind closed doors this month. The Craven Stakes would be on 23 or 24 May, with the Dante and the Lockinge Stakes the following weekend (30/31 May).

It's hoped that the season's first two Classics - the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas - will be held on the first weekend in June after being postponed from their original dates at Newmarket last weekend.

Ascot crowd stand 956.jpg

Further ahead, the Exchange odds indicate that bettors are split on the chances of Royal Ascot being held from 16 June, with Yes trading at 1.9620/21 and No 2.021/1. Either way, we won't see the kind of crowds pictured above with nobody talking yet about when punters will be able to return to racecourses.

UFC returns on Saturday with bumper night of bouts

Ultimate Fighting (UFC) resumes this weekend. The action takes place in Florida on Saturday night/Sunday morning for UK viewers, with Tony Ferguson 1.594/7 headlining against Justin Gaethje 2.6213/8.

Fighters are undergoing daily testing ahead of what should be an exciting night of action. As well as the main event there are 10 other fights on the card with markets open on them all.

Frank Monkhouse will be previewing Saturday's action later this week, so keep an eye out for that.

South Korea kicks-off and Germany could follow

South Korea's K-League starts on Friday (8 May). The country has lead the way in efficiently battling coronavirus and is hoping to provide a similar example on the pitch.

The first match is at 11:00am (BST) on Friday as Jeonbuk Motors host Suwon Bluewings. There follows a further five matches across the weekend so now is the time to bone up on the K-League.

Closer to home, the Bundesliga is hoping to be the first major European league to return. German chancellor Angela Merkel will make an announcement on Wednesday about a restart date and it is strongly rumoured that it could be 15 May.

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