BHA happy with Haydock protocol

Officials were unable to record any time or winning distances for the finale at Haydock which was won, apparently, by Clyne.

Clyne and Adam Wedge won in the fog at Haydock

The fog descended with venom for the last race with visibility very poor and it was only after the horses returned to the enclosures that the judge was able to announce that Clyne (6/1) had landed the spoils in the 32Red.com Handicap Hurdle.

Evan Williams' six-year-old had won his last three starts and made it four under Adam Wedge who said: "They skipped five of six lengths clear of me turning in and I thought my chance had gone.

"I jumped the third from home, gave him a dig and he kept on for me.

"I could only make out the wings and that's the only reason I knew a flight was coming."

Course commentator Stuart Machin was left in the dark as to how events were unfolding, occasionally referring to audible hoofbeats.

However even with that audio aid, neither Machin nor the television cameras were able to pick up the runners until they had passed the post.

Machin ended his commentary with: "I'm afraid I can't tell you what won, what finished second or whether they all got around.

"But certainly to the fore late on it looked like Draytonian, El Terremoto, Sharp Response and Super Sam. All those were involved. But in what order, make up your own mind."

The Racing UK presenters were then left waiting to see where the jockeys would head in the winner's enclosure before they could even attempt to pass the result onto the viewers.

"We saw it worsening after the Tommy Whittle and sent a stipendiary steward down to the winning post as a contingency," clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright told the Racing Post.

"It was the last race and there's always a desire to complete the card if you can, but we have to admit that had that worsened or been as bad as that at the time of the first race we could not have done so," he added.

The British Horseracing Authority defended Haydock's decision to allow the race to go ahead.

A stipendiary steward was positioned in one of the on-course medical vehicles to watch the runners and riders at ground level, while another steward monitored the horses finishing from the winning post.

BHA media manager Robin Mounsey said: "Shortly after jumping off for the last race, the fog came in very quickly and conditions deteriorated quite rapidly.

"The judge made it clear to the stipendiary team that it was difficult to judge the race, but the integrity of the result wasn't in doubt in the end.

"The result took its time to be announced, but that was much more preferable to rushing the result, so as to be absolutely certain of what actually happened.

"Stewards were also in contact with jockeys throughout the entire day as to whether racing should continue.

"There has obviously been a response to the race being run, and part of our job is to assess things like this, which is something we will continue to do.

"Jockeys were supportive that horses' and their own welfare wouldn't be impacted, and that was our number one priority."

Read More at Sporting Life

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