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Monday, January 11, 2010


• All races to close on Wednesday, January 13th

Following the recent spate of abandonments and with the current cold snap delaying the resumption of Racing on turf, the British Horseracing Authority has programmed a provisional National Hunt Flat Card on the AWT at Kempton for Saturday, January 16th. The seven National Hunt Flat races are aimed at Steeple Chasers and Hurdlers, plus one Standard National Hunt Flat race.

Ordinarily, under the Rules of Racing, horses which have run in Steeple Chases or Hurdle Races are not eligible to run in National Hunt Flat races, but given the exceptional run of abandonments experienced recently, the British Horseracing Authority has modified the Rules in order to trial this initiative.

The turf course at Kempton is currently snow covered and frozen in places. A decision on whether racing can take place will be made on Thursday at which point the provisional card that follows will be triggered should turf racing be abandoned.

The races will close at noon on Wednesday, January 13th, with declarations to be made by 10.00am on Friday, January 15th. A running order and full race conditions are attached.

Running Order:
12:30 33477 The williamhill.com/Bonus25 Standard Open National Hunt Flat
Race (Class 4)
1:05 33474 The williamhill.com – Play Poker Jumpers’ National Hunt Flat Race
(Class 4)
1:40 33473 The williamhill.com – Live Casino Jumpers’ National Hunt Flat
Race (Class 4)
2:15 33475 The William Hill – 0800 44 40 40 Jumpers’ National Hunt Flat Race
(Class 4)
2:45 33472 The williamhill.com Jumpers’ National Hunt Flat Race (Class 4) 3:15 33471 The williamhill.com – Live Sports Betting Jumpers’ National Hunt
Flat Race National Hunt Flat Race (Class 4)
3:45 33476 The williamhill.com – Vegas Game Jumpers’ National Hunt Flat
Race National Hunt Flat Race (Class 4)

Nicky Henderson, when asked for his view, said: “I’m totally supportive of any
initiative that’s for the benefit of racing and in the absence of jumps opportunities
this is the next best thing. I’m almost certain to have runners if the turf meeting
is abandoned and I wouldn’t rule out running one of our top horses if there is a
suitable race.”

Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls, said: “I spoke to the Racing Department this morning about the details of creating such a fixture and if we lose jump racing again on Saturday, it will be an ideal opportunity to get a number of horses back on the racecourse.

“We’ve been waiting for a chance to get American Trilogy back out and I would have him in mind to run before he goes back over hurdles in the Spring.”

Stuart Middleton, BHA Racing Manager, said: “Some of the race conditions are quite open and it is anyone’s guess as to what kind of entry we will receive. That said, these are difficult times for all in the industry and we didn’t think we really had much to lose. It will be a useful exercise and we’ll know after Saturday whether it is something that we might want to do again in the future. All races are free to enter, so hopefully trainers will approach it with an open mind and make plenty of entries.”

Barney Clifford Director of Racing and Clerk of the Course said: “This is an enterprising move and really demonstrates the modern approach of all parties, a true endorsement of Racing for Change.

Our aim is to provide ground that reflects between Good and Good to Soft on turf. To achieve this we will be power harrowing to a depth of 8cm, so the official going will be STANDARD TO SLOW.”


Officials at Wetherby will be hoping the weather relents this week in order that the racecourse can make a belated start to 2010 with a meeting on Saturday (January 16). The seven-race programme is set to begin at 12-45 p.m.

The feature race is The Constant Security Graduation Chase, a £25,000 contest for stayers over three miles and one furlong - a race which could attract horses which were entered for the aborted coral.co.uk Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase which would have been the principal race at Wetherby on Boxing Day.

Conditional jockeys and amateur riders take part in the opening race, The Wetherby 'Hands & Heels' Jumps Series Handicap Hurdle - the fifth of a series of 12 such races held throughout the UK during the current season over Jumps - designed to encourage riders not to resort to using the whip. A points system operates throughout this series which concludes at Newbury in March. Amateur riders Tom David and Sam Twiston-Davies lead the way after four races in the series.

Saturday's card also includes a qualifying race in this season's European Breeders' Fund Novices' Hurdle series, in which the first four horses in this contest over two and a half miles, will be eligible to compete in the £70,000 Final of this national series at Sandown Park in March.

Four-year-old fillies take part in the final contest, a Bumper race on the Flat for young horses about to begin their careers over Jumps. This race is held over the unusual, shorter, distance one mile and five furlongs.

The giant screen will be situated opposite the main stands, complemented by a display screen serving the parade ring area. Musical entertainment is provided by the LA Jazz Band.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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