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Jim Bolger

Jim Bolger: was due to saddle Korba and Caesaria

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Maisons-Laffitte strike leaves horses stranded

RACING at Maisons-Laffitte has been abandoned in the face of industrial action by racecourse workers, leaving five British and Irish-trained horses stranded.

The action follows the announcement by France Galop that they are considering the future of Maisons-Laffitte as part of economy measures.

Runners trained by Jim Bolger, David Wachman, Ollie Pears and William Muir had all travelled to the outskirts of Paris for the three Group races on the card.

Muir, who was due to run Magic Secret in the Group 3 Prix Seine-et-Oise, commented: "I got here and spoke to my head man who said he'd been told there might be a problem. We'll send him home and start again next year. This horse loves soft ground and I'm sure he'd have gone close."

Bolger's travelling head man Gerard Flynn said: "It's a good training centre here and you can understand the attitude of the people who work here. If they hold the racing on Thursday or Friday, that's not a problem, we can drive to whatever track they hold it at."

Bolger was due to saddle Korba in the Group 3 Prix Miesque and Caesaria in the Seine-et-Oise.

The difficulty with rearranging the three Group races is the lack of a straight six and seven furlong tracks apart from Maisons-Laffitte, with Deauville the next nearest alternative.

France Galop Director of Racing, Francois Boulard, arrived at the racecourse to consult trainers and owners but, was unable to give  concrete plans any rescheduled card.

"As I've explained to the professionals present, we're waiting until late tomorrow morning or midday to decide whether the meeting can be rescheduled," said Boulard. "There will be contact between the representatives of the staff here and France Galop and after that we'll know."



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