Changes to Warwick Flat fixture programme

23rd May 2014

Jockey Club Racecourses today announced changes to the Flat racing programme at Warwick Racecourse for the remainder of the 2014 Turf season.

Warwick’s six scheduled Flat fixtures between June and September will convert to two all-sprint cards at the Midlands track on a realigned course, while four will transfer to Nottingham and Carlisle.

Nottingham will stage two fixtures, on the evening of Monday 16th June, which will feature the Class 1 Warwickshire Oaks, and the afternoon of Thursday 10th July. Carlisle will also stage two fixtures, on the afternoon of Thursday 26th June and Tuesday 2nd September. The Class 1 Eternal Stakes will transfer to Newmarket July Course as part of its Armed Forces Day card on Saturday 28th June.

The fixtures Warwick will stage are its Ladies Day on the afternoon of Friday 4th July and its Bank Holiday meeting on the afternoon of Monday 25th August. Track realignment where the sprint course meets the home straight has been agreed with the BHA and the course will water to ensure each meeting starts on ground no faster than good. Jockey Club Racecourses will work with the BHA and Professional Jockeys Association to trial the realignment before the July fixture, to ensure that participants can have complete confidence in the course.

This package of precautionary actions follow the loss of confidence in areas of the Warwick course by jockeys, which led to the abandonment after two races of the last fixture. British Horseracing Authority Senior Inspector of Courses, Richard Linley, visited Warwick and conducted a full assessment in conjunction with Jockey Club Racecourses’ representatives. No turf management-related issues were identified during this inspection.

All programmed fixtures are able to remain on Turf and in the same date slots as a result of continued large-scale investments in turf management at Jockey Club Racecourses. In the last three years alone (2012-2014), the group has spent £5.5 million just on track maintenance, drainage and surfaces at its 15 racecourses.

Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

“The safety of all participants is the number one priority for Jockey Club Racecourses and is at the core of the decisions we are announcing today.

“No turf management concerns with the track have been identified in any inspection or else we would not have been racing. The BHA found that Warwick’s ground staff team has prepared the turf in line with good practice at all times and we have taken numerous precautionary measures in recent years in light of the publicly-stated concerns of horsemen about the home bend at the course.

“We take the concerns of jockeys extremely seriously and until those are resolved we are not comfortable running Warwick’s programmed Flat races this season. Having made this decision, we will now take the necessary time to review our long-term options on the Flat at Warwick and launch a consultation with the BHA, horsemen and industry stakeholders on this.”

All tickets booked for racing at Warwick on Monday 16th June, Thursday 26th June, Thursday 10th July and Tuesday 2nd September will be automatically refunded, as will any hospitality bookings. Jump racing recommences at Warwick’s Oktoberfest Raceday on Thursday 2nd October 2014.

Notes to Editors

Where fixtures are transferring, the race programme will only be marginally adjusted where required in line with available start positions.

For factual accuracy please note that a) the fall of Artful Lady in the first race of the 21st May fixture at Warwick did not occur on the home bend, but an area at the end of the 6 furlong chute that has not been subject of concern previously and b) the precise reasons for her fall have not been concluded.