British racing cancelled because of flu

British racing cancelled because of flu

No racing in Britain until Wednesday at the earliest following the confirmation earlier in the week that three horses at the yard of Donald McCain had tested positive for equine influenza.

They raced on Wednesday and the BHA says they potentially exposed the flu to a "significant number of horses from yards" in Britain and Ireland.

Phumelela International and TellyTrack have reorganised the betting schedule and TV broadcast for today after the news from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) that racing will not resume in the United Kingdom until Wednesday at the earliest, with a decision to be taken on Monday.

In a statement the BHA said their "approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday".

Philip Trampe of Bettingexpert.com said: "The importance of British racing to the industry is reflected in the share price movements of the major betting concerns today, especially those with a large retail exposure".

As a result all meetings on Thursday have been abandoned.

Britain's horse racing industry was on tenterhooks on Friday following an outbreak of equine flu with next month's showpiece Cheltenham Festival the focus of attention.

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Racing's rulers are set to make a further assessment on Monday as to when racing can resume after the virus was detected.

Equine flu can be passed between horses either by nose-to-nose contact, airborne particles or contaminated clothing.

On Saturday, Lingfield, Newbury, Uttoxeter, Warwick and Wolverhampton were on the schedule, with Exeter and Southwell hosting events on Sunday.

Officials are now facing millions of pounds in lost revenue in what could become the biggest shutdown in British horse racing since the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic.

Why was all British racing cancelled?

The BHA said: 'This precautionary approach is meant to ensure we put the health of the horses first'. BHA procedures state that a racecourse can not race for at least four days following a deep clean having taken place.

Despite this, racing at Chantilly in France did go ahead under "protection measures" on Thursday, the governing body France Galop issuing a six-point caution to all horse racing personnel. If racing is back on by the end of next week, key races may be rescheduled at Ascot.

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