British Racing To Resume On Wednesday | TDN

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There has been a shutdown of racing in Britain since and more concerns were raised over when it could resume after four new positive tests were returned in vaccinated thoroughbreds at Simon Crisford's Newmarket yard on Sunday.

The BHA were under growing pressure to re-start racing on Wednesday as their veterinary committee met on Monday night to discuss the equine influenza crisis.

All British racing was put on hold last Thursday after the flu outbreak, which affected horses at Donald McCain's yard.

Two scheduled Jump fixtures will go ahead at Musselburgh and Plumpton, alongside the All Weather fixtures at Southwell and Kempton.

"Clearly, there is some risk associated with returning to racing, said BHA chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea in the governing body's statement".

This decision to return racing in a controlled, risk-managed manner was unanimously supported by the industry veterinary committee.

"It has also been our intention to ensure that we avoid an issue that could result in a long-term disruption with the risk of many of our major events being unduly impacted". We have put robust containment measures in place around both.

The horses that tested positive on Wednesday had been vaccinated - which is mandatory for nearly all breeds used in racing - prompting fears of a widespread outbreak of a mutant strain of the disease. However, the BHA said racing would only resume with "strict biosecurity controls in place".

Dunshea said there had been significant logistical issues associated with testing thousands of samples in such a short space of time.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) placed over 170 yards into lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the highly-contagious virus.

"We didn't want to take any risks with future race meetings and with all known advice, we took the decision we did in the best interests of returning to racing".

The cancellation of race meetings raises significant concerns for United Kingdom bookmakers, as the blow to gambling income will subsequently result in the reduction of contributions paid to the industry via the betting levy.

Trainers planning to compete on Wednesday were advised by the BHA to declare at 10am on Tuesday.

"Security measures will include all horses being required to submit a health declaration, that the horse has shown no symptoms of equine flu in the last 14 days", he said.

Menzies' horses have subsequently returned negative results for equine flu, while Crisford confirmed his Newcastle runner, Sajanjl, is also clear of the virus.



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