Meeting called off at Lyon Parilly after four horses fall on the flat
French racing suffered its second ground-related drama in a week when stewards were forced to call off the main Flat meeting on Thursday following the falls of four horses in the day's big betting handicap at Lyon Parilly.
Ronan Thomas was attended to on the track before being removed by stretcher, with initial reports suggesting he had fractured a collarbone after being brought down on the John Hammond-trained Dark Desire, while Theo Bachelot is thought to have bruised a heel.
The going was officially good to soft after morning rainfall on essentially dry ground but stewards had already spoken to jockeys following a report of slipping in the third race, before giving the go-ahead for the meeting to continue.
The 1m3f handicap began badly when favourite Temple Boy came down going into the first turn but worse was to follow.
Exiting the back straight, Mo Green appeared to lose his hind legs and fell under Delphine Santiago, bringing down Dark Desire and Mer Et Jardin.
No injuries were reported for any of the four horses, while riders Gabriel Conchu and Delphine Santiago appeared to be unscathed.
"I was surprised to find that it was so slippery because conditions were good," Alexis Badel told the Equidia racing channel. "We were called into see the stewards ahead of the Quinte because Ioritz Mendizabal's horse had slipped on the turn before winning the two-year-old race.
"It was agreed that might've been down to the horse being inexperienced. But we were slipping on both bends during the Quinte with very experienced horses and it has obviously become unraceable."
'It's a skating rink out there'
Antoine Hamelin added: "I think it's the circumstances and not really anyone's fault but the weather has made it a skating rink out there.
"I was behind Ioritz when his horse had trouble in the third race and his horse slipped three times, while in the Quinte the horses couldn't get any grip."
Last Sunday, Christophe Soumillon gave up two rides at Longchamp after complaining that the ground was worn and unsafe, a situation that France Galop have vowed to rectify ahead of this Sunday's Polule d'Essai meeting.
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