'Remedial work' to start on Haydock bends

Work is to start on Haydock's round course bend this week after its meeting on Saturday had to be abandoned due to safety concerns.

Three horses slipped on the home bend after the second race and, despite the track passing an initial inspection before the Lancashire Oaks, the final three races on the round course could not take place. They included the £150,000 Old Newton Cup, which is not set to be rescheduled.

Racegoers have been offered complimentary tickets for any other race meeting in the year while the groundstaff are already working to ensure the track is safe for its next fixture on Friday week.

Daniel Cooper, the track's clerk of the course, has already sought the help of the BHA and soil management experts to address the bends. A further update will be made before entries open on Saturday.

Cooper said: “It’s always disappointing when we have to abandon racing, but the welfare of our equine and human athletes is, and always will be, our number one priority.

“Since Saturday, we've been working alongside the BHA and have engaged our independent agronomist to get a plan in place for what steps to take next to ensure we minimise the chances of future issues on the round course.

“We're looking at a number of options, all of which require balanced consideration before any action is taken, with the aim of starting remedial work this week which will be published on our going report from entries stage for our next meeting."

Cooper, who replaced Haydock's longstanding clerk Kirkland Tellwright in March, added: “We're very sorry to everyone who attended on Saturday, and all racegoers who had a valid ticket have been offered an equivalent complimentary ticket to another race meeting in 2024. 

"We're in the process of contacting stakeholders around compensation for those races we abandoned.”