PUNTERS have expressed their anger after a race at Catterick was called off on Wednesday – after just two races.
As the country basked in a summer-long heatwave that saw record temperatures, around 1.5mm of rain this morning made the track “dangerous”.
Previous rain last week contributed to good to steady going, with jockeys reporting their horses slipping on the turn into the main straight.
The 1.00 and 1.30 races went smoothly but there was a length check before 2.00.
Fiona Needham, North Yorkshire course official, said: “In the second race, which was the first race around the bend, some jockeys reported slipping problems and there was one very visible slip.
“Upon further investigation and in the interest of safety, it was decided to abandon the card.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s the most sensible decision and safety comes first.”
It meant a total of five races were abandoned – with punters wanting to know about refunds.
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While the decision was obviously disappointing, clearly the main goal is to ensure the safety of horses and riders.
Still, that didn’t stop one person from posting on Twitter: “As a day bettor when will I get my refund?
“I don’t want another ticket, I’m not coming back.”
Another said: “Please reply to these messages as this is becoming a farce.
“I can’t believe that after two races there was so much rain to make the corners more dangerous than in the first race.
“What is the official actually doing when he inspects the field before the meeting?”
A fellow racing fan said simply, “Embarrassing.”
Needham added: “Unfortunately, we were expecting a bit of rain but it didn’t come.
“But this morning the rain came and it got very slippery.
“A number of jockeys and trainers were involved in the inspection as it is protocol, but it is always a difficult decision when you have to make the call.”
But still one disgruntled punter replied: “It doesn’t bode well for racing. However, another meeting was interrupted halfway through.
“Beverley, Haydock and Chester all quit in May. Of course, the safety of the horse and rider is a priority. It now appears to be up to the jockeys to decide whether to continue.
While another said: “It happens all season long, there needs to be a massive investigation into why this is such a regular occurrence.”
And a fellow punter wrote: “Planning. Preparation. Responsibility. Attention to the paying public … is clearly lacking.”
The decision to cancel the race was particularly unfortunate as it came on the track’s big Ladies Day.
Trainers, stable workers, owners and other bettors can also feel uneasy after shelling out money for gas and other travel expenses to get to the track.
Two races were cut from a card at Lingfield in May after jockeys reported their horses were slipping.
While two days earlier, similar safety concerns had forced the abandonment of Chester.
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