Windsor forced to take action
Officials at Arena Racing Company and Windsor racecourse are to take action with the aim of avoiding more problems at the track, which on Monday had to abandon its meeting due to safety concerns for the second year running.
The card was brought to a premature halt after four races, with a horse in the second race having slipped on the bend but managed to stay on its feet. During the next two races, which were on the straight course, remedial work was carried out to try and make the ground safer.
However, a delegation of jockeys, which included safety officer Fergus Sweeney, came to the conclusion that the bend, which had been watered along with the whole course before the meeting, was unsafe to continue.
The next scheduled race was the feature Sky Bet Royal Windsor Stakes. The same meeting 12 months ago was also abandoned halfway through in similar circumstances, that time after three races.
Jeff Green is the regular clerk of the course, but a statement issued by ARC, the track's owners, said Ed Arkell would take over clerking duties "for the coming meetings".
It read: "ARC and the team at Royal Windsor would like to apologise to everyone who was inconvenienced by yesterday's events. After a review of the incident by ARC's racing department a number of actions are being undertaken.
"In order to ensure the safety of all participants extra remedial work will take place on the bends. The team at Royal Windsor will remain in close contact with the BHA course inspector and the Horsemen's Group, and Ed Arkell, regional clerk for the south, will take clerking responsibility for the coming meetings."
The statement went on: "In addition, we wish to provide horsemen and racegoers who were affected with a token of appreciation for their support.
"The owners of the 32 horses due to run in the last three races which did not take place will each receive #300 from Royal Windsor to help cover their costs. The seven jockeys who attended the fixture but did not ride will receive #115.52, equating to one riding fee.
"All racegoers who attended will be able to apply for a complimentary badge to come racing on Monday, May 22, or Monday, June 12, which is the Irish race evening, one of Royal Windsor's premium fixtures.
"In order to obtain a new badge for one of these dates they need to retain their badge from yesterday and call the office or email at firstname.lastname@example.org."
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