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BHA will keep eye on Great Leighs non-runners

THE BHA on Wednesday said that it remains happy with safety limits at Great Leighs, but will continue to keep a close eye on the non-runner situation at Britain's newest racecourse, after a recent spate of horses drawn high in sprint races missed their intended engagements.

At last week's three-day meeting there were 11 non-runners in the five races over5f or 6f,with six of those drawn in the highest two stalls, and although the BHA said it will not be taking any direct action by cutting maximum field sizes, it admitted it will be monitoring the situation closely.

There have been 40 nonrunners in 41 sprints at the track since it opened in April, and BHA media relations manager Paul Struthers said: "Last week's threeday meeting was the first time that a real pattern has emerged.

"High-drawn horses have won sprints at Great Leighs and we're happy that 16 is the correct safety limit in sprints at the track, so we're not going to change it.

"But we'll bear in mind the number of high-drawn nonrunners at recent meetings and will continue to monitor the situation, as we do at other tracks."

Pippa Cuckson, head of communications at Great Leighs, had blamed the self-certification system, whereby trainers do not need to call out a vet to obtain a certificate - introduced at the start of the Flat turf season - for the increase in non-runners.

However, Struthers rejected the claim. He added: "If you look at the non-runners at the track, only 13 are self-certificates, and if you look at the ones drawn high from the three-day meeting, there was a fair mixture of selfcertificates and vets' certificates."


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