Yarmouth's Friday fixture switched to Wolverhampton amid concerns over track
Yarmouth's Friday fixture has been switched to Wolverhampton after Monday's meeting at the seaside course was abandoned due to concerns over the racing surface.
The rest of Monday's card was called off after jockey Gabriele Malune was knocked unconscious when his mount Lord Chapelfield fell fatally inside the final furlong of the 1m2f handicap.
The decision to end racing on Monday was taken after "holes and inconsistent ground" were discovered by senior jockeys and course officials, although there was no further indication of such conditions on Tuesday.
However, following the inspection by the BHA and officials from Yarmouth's owner Arena Racing (Arc), the decision was taken to move Friday's card "as a precaution".
Jon Pullin, Arc racing director, said: "Following yesterday’s mid-racing incident at Yarmouth, we have undertaken a thorough inspection of the whole track with senior racecourse officials and the BHA inspectorate.
“While nothing has come to light from this inspection, including any false ground, we will, in conjunction with BHA, move the fixture scheduled for Friday to Wolverhampton, before we resume racing at Yarmouth on August 25.”
Lord Chapelfield fell independently of any other horse with Malune believing his mount may have stepped in a hole in the closing stages of the race.
“I’d been going through the race well and my horse was running good and he just went from underneath me,” the rider said. “After that I can only remember seeing the turf coming at me and then I was at the ambulance as I was knocked unconscious.
“I spoke with some of my jockey friends and they’d all said that the track had been riding brilliantly through the day and I think that maybe I just got very unlucky and stepped in a hole that might not have been completely filled in after one of the earlier races. I just think we were really unlucky.”
Malune, 24, was discharged from hospital on Monday evening feeling sore and bruised. He will have to pass a concussion test but is hoping to be absent from the saddle only for a short period.
He said on Tuesday: “I’m okay, my back is quite sore and I’ll need a few days off but it could have been a lot worse.
“I’ll try to go to [the Injured Jockeys Fund's] Peter O’Sullevan House later today and hopefully have some physio as I think that’ll help me, and then I can be back in a few days.”
He added: “I feel so bad for the owners. They loved and cared for that horse and he was like a pet to them really. It’s a terrible thing to happen to everyone involved.”
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