Waterlogging cancels Cheltenham’s New Year’s day meeting

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  • Raceowners not permitted to attend English racecourses in Tier 4 after BHA review

By Andrew Atkinson 

Waterlogging on parts of the course has forced Cheltenham’s New Year’s day meeting to be cancelled – adding a further blow to racing in a year of turmoil.

“It’s disappointing – but we weren’t seeing any improvement after the volume of rain we’ve received. 

“There are two parts of the course, coming down the hill and at the second-last fence, where there’s no way round,” said clerk of the course Simon Claisse.

Rainfall totalling 145mm has hit the track in the last month – with 85mm falling in the last seven days.

Cheltenham’s New Year’s day meeting was scheduled to feature the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle and Dipper Novices’ Chase.

No one should attend meetings if they feel unwell: BHA’s chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill.
No one should attend meetings if they feel unwell: BHA’s chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill.

Raceowners will not be permitted to attend English racecourses in Tier 4 – from January 1 – after the BHA reviewed its COVID-19 protocols on December 29.

Amber zones- reserved for owners – will no longer be open at tracks in Tier 4, from January 1.

To reduce the risk of transmission of coronvirus, owners living in Tier 4 will not be allowed to attend meetings at courses in Tiers 1, 2 and 3.

“Racing has worked hard to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus through the tough protocols people have followed when attending race meetings.

“With the NHS under pressure and a more virulent strain of Covid now circulating, we have agreed these new restrictions are appropriate to the situation and will keep their use under review for Tiers 2 and 3.

“No one should attend at all if they feel unwell. Any participant showing symptoms should immediately self-isolate and arrange a Covid-19 test,” said BHA’s chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill.

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No one should attend meetings if they feel unwell: BHA’s chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill.

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