Fontwell race voided on health and safety grounds

Fontwell: race was voided on health and safety grounds

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Safety first at Fontwell as race is voided
By Mark Storey 5:27PM 30 SEP 2016

FONTWELL clerk of the course Ef Arkell explained safety had to come first after voiding Friday's 3m 1f conditional jockeys' handicap chase following the collapse of runner Indiana Bay.

All bets were refunded following a stewards' inquiry after the six remaining runners pulled up when a yellow flag was waved.

The David Dennis-trained Indiana Bay went down on the bend just after the stands after being pulled up by Kieron Edgar.

A yellow flag was waved after the fence before the stands on the following circuit, with the runners all pulling up wide of the stricken horse.

'We had to do the sensible thing'

Arkell said: "David Dennis's horse had a problem going into the bend. He was on the floor and we had medical staff there as well as making sure the jockey [Kieron Edgar] was all right.

"I was not happy that if we had runners coming past again we could ensure safety.

"Had it been on the straight I would have been happy for them to have bypassed. But going into a tight bend on the running line we had to put health and safety first. Jockeys with their heads down could have easily looked up and taken evasive action and something else could have been brought down

"We could easily have something nasty happen so we had to do the sensible thing and stop the race."

The yellow flag effectively voided the race, with the decision confirmed by stewards who ruled all bets were to be refunded.

Arkell added: "It's not a decision we took lightly. I've been clerk here ten years and it's never happened before. It's unfortunate and we'll discuss the situation with owners and trainers. But it was a situation you could not legislate for."

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