Racing shutdown ends on Wednesday

Horse racing will resume in Britain on Wednesday after an outbreak of equine flu resulted in a six-day shutdown.

Racing was suspended last week after three cases of equine flu were detected at Donald McCain’s stables, with three further cases later reported at his yard in Cheshire.

It has since been announced that around 1,500 tests have returned negative, although on Sunday evening it emerged that four vaccinated horses had tested positive from Simon Crisford’s Newmarket yard.

The British Horseracing Authority [BHA] say they have evaluated the risk after 174 racing stables were placed in lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and they are satisfied it is now appropriate to resume racing in Britain.

“Clearly, there is some risk associated with returning to racing. This risk has been assessed and, based on the evidence – and ensuring biosecurity measures are in place ? the level of risk is viewed as acceptable,” said the BHA’s chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea.

Meetings at Musselburgh, Plumpton, Kempton and Southwell will take place on Wednesday, but special measures will be in place and trainers will be assessed before being given the go-ahead to compete.

The biggest event to be called off as a result of the shutdown was the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and that will now take place on Saturday at Ascot as part of a nine-race card.

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