Racing will return to Kicoy and Gatton next month. FILE IMAGE.
Racing will return to Kicoy and Gatton next month. FILE IMAGE.

Gatton, Kilcoy races given green light, on monthly basis

JUNE is set to be a great month for local race enthusiasts, with tracks in the Somerset and Lockyer Valley both securing race days.

The Kilcoy Racing Club has been allocated two TAB race days, on June 8 and 22, both Mondays - the club's first races since Australia Day.

Club chairman Conway Searle said the races were already shaping up to be major events.

"At this stage there are seven events per (race) day but, with the influx of trainers wishing to nominate to race at Kilcoy, we could be looking at an 11-race program," he said.

"Both meetings will be non-patron race days, with only the jockeys, trainers, strappers and officials allowed to attend as per the COVID-19 virus protocol."

Punters and race lovers will be able to watch the events live on SKY TV.

READ MORE: Horse racing returns to the valley this weekend

Mr Searle clarified that neither event would be the annual Kilcoy Cup, which would usually run during winter.

"The historic Kilcoy Cup race day, which has been conducted in the month of June for over 40 years, will not be conducted this year due to the COVID-19 virus," he said.

"It is hoped that we may run the Kilcoy Cup as soon as restrictions are eased and the patron attendance is fully allowed."

READ MORE: Racing continues despite gathering ban, but there's a catch

The Lockyer Turf Club has also received permission to hold a race day, on Saturday, June 27, following on from their most recent race day on May 16.

"We were very excited to be racing again," club president Terry Kirkwood said.

"We had a massive 11-race program, and a few local winners, at our most recent race day."

The Gatton races will also not permit spectators but will be broadcast on SKY as well.

READ MORE: Gatton racing duo notch up multiple weekend victories

With future race dates remaining murky, the Gatton Cup, which was slated for May 30, remains cancelled.

"Racing Queensland are just planning things out month-by-month," Mr Kirkwood said.

"There's no point trying to plan things out too far because they don't know what restrictions are going to be like."

Any potential race days for the Kilcoy and Gatton clubs in July or beyond have yet to be announced.

Read more stories by Nathan Greaves.