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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Plug pulled on Bath card as it is switched to Wolverhampton due to hard ground

Bath racecourse on July 25
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Bath's fixture on August 3 has been rescheduled to take place at Wolverhampton due to hard ground and small field sizes caused by the ongoing heatwave in Britain.

The racecourse, which does not have a watering system in place, staged a seven-race meeting on Wednesday which attracted just 28 runners.

Paul Johnson, head of racing at the BHA, said: "As the dry spell continues we continue to monitor how the weather is affecting the fixture list in conjunction with racecourses and horsemen.

"While we are aware that fast conditions at Bath are ideal for some horses, the continued dry spell has now led to the appearance of hard in the going description and we believe that the sport is best served by the next fixture being transferred to an alternative racecourse."

But there was a mixed reaction from trainers. Ron Harris said: “There is no sense in it at all. There has been scaremongering about the ground there and it's not good news for my owners who will not be happy.

"In this weather I am more worried about travelling long distances in the heat than running horses at Bath - touch wood I have never had any problem there.

"With this freak weather we have got it is the same everywhere but unlike tracks that are watered it is straightforward at Bath and horses know what they are dealing with. Elsewhere they water the last two furlongs but it is rock hard after that."

Fellow local trainer Malcolm Saunders  said: “It is difficult as it has dried out. But wherever you go it is pretty firm as well.

"Everything I have run at Bath this year has come back fine and real top-of-the-ground horses have had no problem with the ground.

“I wouldn't like to lose meetings there as I haven't had problems there and I don't want to travel horses too far in this weather."

The movement of the card, which was supported by a cider festival and tribute band Kazabian, is another example of how racing has been inconvenienced by the exceptionally hot weather.

Entries for the Wolverhampton races will close as usual at 12 noon on July 28, with 48-hour declarations on August 1.

Bath also have scheduled meetings on August 8, 18 and 22.

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Hot spell takes its toll but many trainers continue to support drought-hit Bath

Average field sizes drop below eight as firm Bath attracts just 31 runners

How is racing coping with the heatwave and its scorched turf?

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As the dry spell continues we continue to monitor how the weather is affecting the fixture list in conjunction with racecourses and horsemen

Key data

Bath Wolverhampton
E.W. Terms
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