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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Hereford anniversary off as Tuesday's card is switched to Worcester

Hereford: conditions are quick at the track
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Hereford's limited capacity to water the track means Tuesday's fixture, which would have been the anniversary of its return to action after it was closed in 2012, has been switched to Worcester.

This, the BHA said, was because of the likelihood of unsuitable ground – described as firm on Friday – and a dry weather forecast.

The new card will reflect Hereford's with adjustments for distances and safety factors where necessary at Worcester, which was hit by a host of going-related non-runners at its meeting on Thursday.

That has prompted the BHA to ensure conditions are suitable there and the governing body's head of raceday operations Emma Marley said: "Unfortunately, due to Hereford's restricted irrigation capacity, warm and dry weather forecast for this weekend and likelihood of unsuitable going, the fixture due to take place there on October 17 has now been transferred to Worcester.

"Understandably this transfer may raise questions due to Worcester's high non-runner rate following quick ground experienced on Thursday.

"However, under the circumstances it was clear that the most sensible option was to restage the fixture as nearby as possible.

"The track is watering ahead of Tuesday and it is our expectation and belief that suitable ground will be provided for runners on Tuesday."

Jon Pullin, racing director at Arena Racing Company, which owns both tracks, said plans to improve the watering system at Hereford for the 2018-19 campaign were being put in place.

"We've been watering as much as possible – over 50mm recently – but currently have limited capacity to do so, and therefore cannot guarantee safe ground on Tuesday, especially when many winter jumping horses may be having their first run of the season," he said. 

"We're at an advanced stage of commencing plans to ensure full watering capabilities at Hereford for the 2018-19 season and will provide an update in due course.

"Customers with tickets for Hereford's fixture on Tuesday can transfer them and either attend racing at Worcester on October 17 or one of Hereford's three fixtures in November and December. For further information please contact the Hereford team on 01432 273 560."

We've been watering as much as possible but currently have limited capacity and cannot guarantee safe ground on Tuesday
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