A race at Thursday’s evening meeting at Newcastle has been moved to Saturday’s card after it was scheduled to be run after sunset on a section of the track that is not covered by floodlights.
The Find More Big Deals At BetUK Handicap was due to be run over 10 furlongs with a start time of 5.05pm, with sunset just before 5pm in Newcastle.
A statement issued on Thursday morning by the British Horseracing Authority read: “The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Arena Racing Company (ARC) can confirm that the Find More Big Deals At BetUK Handicap, which was due to be staged at Newcastle at 5.05pm today, has been postponed and will be run as part of Saturday’s card at the same venue.
“This move has been agreed after it was identified this morning that the race, which is scheduled to take place over 1m 2f 42y on the round course, was due to go off after sunset. Only the straight course at Newcastle is covered by floodlights, meaning that it would not be safe to stage the race as planned due to low light.
“The BHA’s general instructions state that in no circumstances will a race time be altered so that a race is run earlier than the advertised race time. This is due to the implications for the betting public, alongside potential regulatory, safety and logistical issues. While alternative solutions were explored, the decision has ultimately been made to postpone the race.
“Connections of the 10 declared runners have been contacted by the BHA to advise of this change, as well as to offer an apology and a reimbursement payment to assist with costs incurred in having made arrangements for the race to be staged as planned.”
The BHA confirmed that while declarations will stand, non-runners will be allowed without penalty, adding: “We are sorry for any inconvenience and confusion resulting from this error. We will now take steps to identify what caused this issue to ensure it is not repeated.”
Brian Ellison, trainer of one of the favourites Explorers Way, said: “The BHA rang me to explain, what can you do?
“It’s the sort of mistake that if I’d made it, I’d get fined, but it won’t make much difference to us.”