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Punters and horses in a fog at Haydock

The British Horseracing Authority has defended Haydock’s decision to allow a race to go ahead in spite of thick fog which shrouded the course.

The heavy fog which had afflicted the venue for most of Saturday afternoon descended with venom during the concluding Handicap Hurdle.

With conditions worsening, it was only after the horses returned to the enclosure that the judge was able to announce Clyne had landed the spoils but no distances were recorded, nor any official finishing time.

A stipendiary steward was positioned in one of the on-course medical vehicles to watch the runners and riders at ground level, while another steward monitored the horses finishing from the winning post.

“Shortly after jumping off for the last race, the fog came in very quickly and conditions deteriorated quite rapidly,” BHA media manager Robin Mounsey said.

“The judge made it clear to the stipendiary team that it was difficult to judge the race, but the integrity of the result wasn’t in doubt in the end.

“The result took its time to be announced, but that was much more preferable to rushing the result, so as to be absolutely certain of what actually happened.

“Stewards were also in contact with jockeys throughout the entire day as to whether racing should continue.

“There has obviously been a response to the race being run, and part of our job is to assess things like this, which is something we will continue to do.

“Jockeys were supportive that horses’ and their own welfare wouldn’t be impacted, and that was our number one priority.”

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