Thirsk latest meeting called off due to unsafe ground

Jockey JAMIE SPENCER.

Jamie Spencer: reported slipping on maiden winner Miss Sugars

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)  

THIRSK became the fourth British meeting in little over a month to fall victim to unsafe ground part-way through the meeting after Deben’s slip in the third race on Monday triggered an inspection.

After just 3.5mm of rain overnight, the ground was described as good to firm, good in places. However, that rain and some small showers on the day left a loose surface.

Jamie Spencer reported slipping a little on winner Miss Sugars in the opener and after Shane Gray and Deben slithered to the floor on the first race on the round course an inspection was called and racing abandoned just before 4pm.

Clerk of the course James Sanderson said: “We went down, some of the jockeys and trainers’ representatives, to inspect after the third and you could see the skidmarks where Shane came down. It was pretty unanimous, to be honest, that we couldn’t continue.”

Sanderson was left cursing his luck. “It’s very unfortunate. I’d held off watering as all the forecasts were predicting rain, but we only got a little and that’s just loosened the ground enough to make it slippy.

“The ground below the surface was lovely, but as one trainer said to me: ‘you’ve got a lovely lush cover of grass here, and that’s been your problem’.”

Planning to water

After confirming that racegoers were being given slips for a 50 per cent refund on presenting their ticket on the way out, Sanderson said of Tuesday’s scheduled card: “We’ll be putting on a notable amount of water, though, I wouldn’t like to say exactly how much.

“We’ll give it plenty of time to get into the ground and we’ll have a precautionary 8.30am inspection. I’d think a quarter of an inch or so should make us safe.

“We’re forecast rain, too, so it could even end up being heavy ground tomorrow. I’m sure some trainers won’t be happy, but it’s very much a case of rather safe than sorry after what’s happened today. The main thing is that no one’s been injured, horse or jockey.”

Meetings have been cancelled for the same reason recently at Windsor, Lingfield, Leicester and Cork.

 

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