The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed that an additional jumpers’ bumper fixture will take place on the all-weather at Southwell on Sunday.
The decision has been made due to the weather forecast for this weekend, which predicts significant periods of sub-zero temperatures that could cause disruption to the scheduled jumps fixtures, including the big meetings at Newcastle and Newbury.
No inspection had been called at either track as of Wednesday afternoon, but there will be concerns with all three jumps meetings on Thursday – Lingfield, Musselburgh and Taunton – calling early precautionary inspections due to the forecast of freezing temperatures overnight.
Newcastle clerk of the course Eloise Quayle told the Racing Post: « At this stage we’re looking a bit colder than originally forecast. I think we’ll see an inspection called, but at what stage I’m not sure just yet. »
The fixture at Southwell on Sunday will be a seven-race card and entries will close at 12 noon on Thursday, with declarations to be made by 10am on Friday.
In addition, three chases at Carlisle on Sunday have been abandoned, with two additional hurdle races programmed to create a six-race card.
The BHA explored the feasibility of staging additional Flat fixtures this weekend, but having considered feedback from across the sport and the practical implications of doing so, it was determined that these fixtures should not take place during the full Flat code break, which supports the participants’ welfare.
The possibility of a jumpers’ bumper fixture on Saturday was explored but it was deemed impractical due to the logistical challenges of servicing an additional fixture of this kind with four jump meetings already scheduled to take place in Britain.