ALL the signs are that we're heading for a gradual easing of lockdown from next month - providing coronavirus doesn't make a return, and the science says it is safe. 'Non-essential' shops could start to open from Monday, there are plans for a phased return of schools (though these are controversial) and talk of resuming top-level sport (behind closed doors).

Here in York, there are tentative plans for racing to resume at York Racecourse in July and August, according to a provisional fixture list published by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) a few days ago. The fixture list would see eight days of racing, on July 9, July 18, July 19, July 25, July 26, August 19, August 20 and August 21. Race meetings will be subject to approval by the Government and to racecourses meeting social distancing protocols. But it looks encouraging.

Here, to get you in the mood, is a wonderful photograph from Explore York showing York Races in 1920. How we've missed them...

Stephen Lewis