Gary Moore forced to withdraw Huntingdon runners after lorry fire closes road
Gary Moore was forced to withdraw six of his seven runners at Huntingdon on Friday after they became stuck in traffic due to a major lorry fire near the racecourse which closed the road.
The A14 was closed both ways after a lorry burst into flames on the westbound carriageway near Fenstanton, less than ten miles from the track, causing chaos for anyone trying to get through the area.
Among those stuck in the tailbacks were two horseboxes containing horses set to represent Moore, including The Flying Sofa, who was due to make his hurdles debut having last run in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, and the favourite for the Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle Beat The Judge.
"I’ve never had something like this happen to me before in my life," an exasperated Moore said.
"They left mine at 7.30am and one of the lorries is stuck at the front of the queue while the other one was able to get off and come through the country. Whether they’ll let the lorry at the front through or not I don’t know."
The lorry transporting Dell Oro arrived at Huntingdon shortly after 2pm allowing the six-year-old to race in the 2m4f handicap chase at 3pm, which he won under the trainer's son Josh.
The forced withdrawal of Beat The Judge particularly frustrated Moore, who added: "All of my owners have made it here and they’re really disappointed. It’s nobody's fault, but it’s extremely frustrating and makes things difficult, especially for Beat The Judge.
"He was ready for today and it would have told us a lot. Also, if he doesn’t have three runs he can’t run in any handicap at Cheltenham. You can allow for things like the weather going against you, but you would never expect this."
Emergency services reportedly had to fight their way through to put the lorry fire out. A statement from Cambridgeshire Police at noon said: "Please be aware that the A14 is closed in both directions through Swavesey and Fenstanton due to a lorry fire and will remain closed for a significant time. Please avoid the area and plan extra time for your journeys."
A slight hiccup on the way to @LingfieldPark with Ventura Blues, as the @rhannonracing lorry has broken down. Thankfully a replacement has been found and she is on her way, although our silks may not make it in time. She will therefore run in alternative colours.— MiddlehamParkRacing (@MprUpdates) January 11, 2019
Richard Hannon also experienced travel problems as his lorry carrying the strongly fancied Ventura Blues broke down on the way to Lingfield. A replacement was called and the mare made it the course but was beaten at evens in the claimer.
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