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Friday, 14 December, 2018

BHA sanctions Ayr switch to hurdle course for Tuesday's meeting

The waterlogged patch of ground on Ayr's home straight
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Ayr has been granted permission by the BHA to switch its fixture on Tuesday to its hurdles course following the cancellation of last week's three-day Western meeting due to a patch of waterlogged ground on the home straight on the Flat course.

As a result, five races – over 6f, 7f and 1m2f – have been abandoned and replaced by four contests over a mile, 1m1f and 1m5f.

The four new races will close for entries at midday on Thursday, with the cut-off point for declarations at 10am on Sunday, and the safety factor of the two retained handicaps over a mile and 1m7f has been reduced to 14.

The BHA is awaiting a report from the Ayr racecourse executive regarding the events surrounding the abandonment of the Gold Cup meeting.

The way the course communicated news on the prospects of racing and held an unscheduled inspection before announcing the loss of Friday's meeting late on Thursday evening, drew strong criticism.

In her role as BHA head of raceday operations, former Ayr clerk of the course Emma Marley had been due to receive the information on her desk but the BHA on Wednesday confirmed there will be a change to protocol in this instance.

BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey said: "We are alive to the risk of perceived conflict of interest and, as a result, the report will be delivered directly to the BHA's director of integrity and regulation Brant Dunshea, and Emma Marley won't take part in viewing the report."

The BHA added that an update on Ayr's final Flat fixture on October 12 will follow in due course.

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The report will be delivered directly to the BHA's director of integrity and regulation Brant Dunshea

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