Equine flu discovery cancels weekend’s Warwick meeting

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WARWICK’S prestigious Kingmaker meeting scheduled for Saturday has been abandoned after the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) suspended racing across Great Britain following the discovery of equine influenza in three horses trained by Donald McCain, writes David Hucker.

McCain confirmed the test results on his horses late on Wednesday night leading to all meetings being called off on Thursday, as well as the three racecourses where they ran, Ayr, Ludlow and Wolverhampton, undergoing deep cleans.

Subsequently, the BHA declared the stables of every horse to have run at the meetings were being quarantined.

The 100 stables involved include those of the jumps season’s two leading trainers, Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson, and nobody will be allowed to make entries for their horses until tests have been completed to the BHA’s satisfaction.

Racing remains in limbo until at least Wednesday, 13th February, as the BHA seeks to confine the equine influenza outbreak which has paralysed the sport.

A decision will be made on Monday. 11th February, as to when racing will resume here, although it continues in Ireland, but without any British participation.

When the Kingmaker Chase was lost in 2006 with the Warwick track frozen and unraceable, it was switched to Wincanton a week later, being won by future champion chaser Voy Por Ustedes.

Whether that will happen this time depends on how the situation pans out over the weekend and the decision on resumption of racing to be taken on Monday.