Shawfield are making provisional plans to start re-trialling in September with ambitions to resume racing in October following a seven month Covid delay.

Racing manager Dean Kennedy said: “In England you have the October 1 date for sports grounds to re-open. We are still waiting to hear the Scottish Government’s plans but we are hoping and assuming it will be the same.”

Kennedy is confident that there will be enough runners to stage one meeting per week despite the dispersal of an already stretched kennel strength.

He said: “Immediately prior to shut down we were in a bad because a number of our trainers were in the ‘at risk’ category. Before that stage though we had 60-70 dogs available with quite a few trialling. Prior to Christmas we had enough for two meetings per week.

“Some of the dogs have been transferred to Newcastle and Sunderland and we also have trainers who have been racing at Pelaw Grange, but I have spoken to several and they plan to return.

“We will make an announcement as soon as we know more, but if all goes to plan, our first meeting will be on October 3rd and we will be planning for trials to start three weeks earlier.

“GBGB wanted one sprint and one four bend trial before the dogs could race again, but given the time the dogs have had off, I would be looking for at least another four bend trial on top of that. We have a lot of amateur trainers who won’t have the facilities to keep their dogs fit.”