BHA poised for action should weather scupper weekend racing

“Preparations are ongoing” in case key trials are lost.

  • Friday 14 February
  • News
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Plans are already afoot to consider rearranging any important races lost to Storm Dennis this weekend.

Ascot, Haydock, Wincanton and Exeter are all due to host cards with vital races as the season builds towards the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National meeting.

On the back of last weekend’s Storm Ciara, the Exeter meeting has already been rearranged once, with another bout of heavy rain and strong winds due to batter the country.

Inspections have been called at multiple tracks and the British Horseracing Authority is poised to take action should any feature races fall to the weather.

A statement said: “Ahead of an unsettled forecast this weekend, preparations are ongoing in case key races and opportunities are lost.

“On this basis we will review options on Sunday in conjunction with racecourses, trainers and the Levy Board to see what should and can feasibly be re-staged.

“We are mindful that some races may be important opportunities in relation to major spring targets and will factor this into the decision making process

“Should additional races or fixtures be considered necessary, we will aim to communicate this at the earliest time possible on Monday.”

A seven-race card is scheduled at Ascot with the top-class Cyrname set to defend his crown in the Betfair Ascot Chase, but clerk of the course Chris Stickels is concerned about the forecast of strong winds.

A precautionary inspection has been announced for 8am – but there is every possibility of further checks through the morning, with winds set to strengthen from 11am.

A statement from the racecourse read: “A precautionary inspection will be held at 8am on Saturday morning due to the strong winds forecast on Saturday.

“The forecast wind strength increases further from 11am, so it is possible that the precautionary inspection will pass at 8am and then we will continue to monitor the conditions.

“A further inspection will be called if conditions deteriorate to the extent that the race meeting is at risk.”

Haydock’s precautionary inspection is set for 8am at the Merseyside venue, due to the forecast high winds.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright insists “the forecast rainfall is not a cause for concern” ahead of a card which is due to feature the Unibet Grand National Trial and the Rendlesham Hurdle.

It is a similar situation at Wincanton, with a precautionary inspection announced for 8am because of the “increased certainty of high wind gust forecasts during racing”.

It is one of the biggest days of the season at the Somerset circuit, with the Betway Kingwell Hurdle the feature event.

Lingfield’s six-race all-weather card on Saturday is also subject to a morning inspection at 8.30am due to the forecast strong winds.

Exeter is in doubt again on Sunday, with an inspection called at 6pm on Saturday for the replacement card.

Market Rasen will also hold a 7am inspection before its scheduled six-race card on Sunday with Kempton will taking the same precaution for its all-weather meeting, at 9am.

The inspection announcements follow the abandonment of Sandown’s Friday fixture because of waterlogging.

Tuesday’s meeting at Bangor has also been called off due to a waterlogged track.

BHA poised for action should weather scupper weekend racing
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