No British horse racing until Wednesday amid flu outbreak

Notable meetings at Newbury and Warwick this weekend are off after the British Horseracing Authority extended its decision to cancel races.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that racing will not resume until next Wednesday at the earliest amid the equine flu outbreak.

The BHA revealed late on Wednesday that all meetings had been cancelled for the following day due to concerns that the disease could spread after three vaccinated horses in an active racing yard tested positive for equine flu.

That decision has been extended to ensure there will be no racing into next week in Britain.

A further call will be made on Monday, meaning Saturday’s meetings at Newbury and Warwick are among those to be cancelled in the coming days.

The BHA’s latest statement on Thursday read: “The BHA’s veterinary team has today been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading.


“While no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.

“The disease can take up to three days before symptoms are visible, meaning it will take until Sunday at the earliest before the BHA can gather all the information required.”

Meanwhile, Donald McCain has confirmed that the three cases previously detailed came from his yard in Cheshire.

“When new horses arrive at our yard we, as much as possible, try to keep them separate,” McCain said in a statement. “But at this stage, we cannot know if the infection came from recent arrivals or from horses returning from racing.

“We have three confirmed cases and this morning have taken blood and swabs from all the others for testing.”