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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Not exactly a crowd – only 13 paying customers at Southwell on Friday

Deserted stands and just four bookmakers for this jumpers' bumper meeting
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Southwell's jumpers' bumper meeting on Friday attracted just 13 paying customers, although along with owners, trainers and annual members the total crowd was estimated to be around a hundred.

Course manager Mark Clayton, speaking at Sunday's all-weather Flat meeting, said: "Friday was a meeting put on last Monday, so it wasn't in people's diaries, and there was a bitterly cold wind, but I suppose it was disappointing.

"However, we were keeping the show on the road. We were the only meeting to be staged on Friday and that was only due to my groundstaff and some from Doncaster who had worked for three days and nights to keep the course raceable.

"We had a few owners and trainers and annual members here and I would say there were around a hundred present."

Only 27 runners took part in the seven races after 13 horses were withdrawn on the day on account of the bad travelling conditions in some areas.

Clayton added that he was disappointed with the reaction in some quarters about the decision to race on Friday, saying: "The course was fine and the roads around here were clear. I travelled the 50 miles from my home all week and there wasn't a problem.

"We weren't in a weather-warning area, so it was a shame that some were saying we shouldn't have raced.

"We were one of the last courses to stage jumping before the freeze and tomorrow we'll be one of the first to stage it after the freeze, so we have really helped the industry and we are the only track in Britain or Ireland to race today."

Although there wasn't a bumper crowd on Sunday it was significantly better than on Friday.

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Friday was a meeting put on last Monday, so it wasn't in people's diaries, and there was a bitterly cold wind

Key data

Southwell (A.W)
E.W. Terms
Sky bet