Waterlogging claims Doncaster's Flat finale

November Handicap card called off after heavy rain on Thursday.

  • Friday 08 November
  • News
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Saturday’s meeting at Doncaster has been cancelled due to a waterlogged track.

The fixture was due to be the finale of the Flat season on the turf, with the November Handicap the feature event.

Officials had planned to inspect at 8am on Friday, but that check was brought forward after significant rainfall on Thursday left the track waterlogged with areas of standing water in places.

Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said: “We had 60 millimetres of rain yesterday and have had a further 1.5mm this morning, with further rain forecast this afternoon.

“There are areas of standing water on the track and that just has nowhere to go. All the drains around here are absolutely full.

“We will work towards our first jumps fixture in December now (13 and 14).”

There was chaos in the Yorkshire and Midlands area on Thursday due to the heavy rain, with flooding causing road closures and forcing some homes to be evacuated.

South Yorkshire Police said there had been “significant issues” in Doncaster and a number flood warnings were still in place, mostly in Yorkshire, a Met Office spokesman said on Friday morning.

While the November Handicap itself will not be rearranged, the supporting British Stallion Studs EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes will now be run at Lingfield on Saturday, November 16.

Paul Johnson, head of racing and racecourse for the British Horseracing Authority, said: “We are pleased to be able to reschedule the EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes, which is an important end-of-season Listed opportunity for a number of fillies.

“As in all cases when a high profile fixture is under threat, the BHA has been investigating options to save those races which are of importance to the programme and can feasibly be replicated elsewhere.

“This process involves liaising with the racecourses and determining which, if any, courses are in a position to stage any of the lost races.

“Unfortunately no realistic option was available to retain the November Handicap in anything like a similar form, and there is an alternative option in the race programme for horses that were engaged in the Wentworth Stakes.

“As such the decision has been made to restage only the British Stallion Studs EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes.

“Although it is quite unusual for us to restage Listed races, the specific circumstances here and the willingness of ARC and the sponsor to continue to support the race have meant that it will move to Lingfield Park next Saturday.”

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