Beverley horses round the bend as racing abandoned

An abandonment at Beverly is a rare occasion but that happened on Wednesday as a portion of the track became problematic.

Beverley racecourse in Yorkshire had to abandon racing for the first time in 22 years on Wednesday due to safety concerns over the track.

Jockeys voiced their concerns to stewards after the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Handicap and it was agreed for a group of riders and racecourse officials to inspect, with the ground on the bend at Beverley being a particular concern.

After walking the course and taking into account all the requisite safety factors, racing was abandoned.

Sally Iggulden, chief executive at the track, said: "We moved the bend on to fresh ground, it's a move that we do every year, two or three times, to push them on to the fresh ground.

"Today Danny Tudhope in particular felt his horse slipped several times and some of the other jockeys expressed concern about it. We've had a very lush growth of grass recently, we had a shower before racing and we haven't watered for this meeting.

"The rest of the track has been riding great but the bend hasn't felt safe and that's the main concern.

"We're racing again on Saturday and we will move the rail back into it's original position, which will put them back on to their racing line from the first four race meetings this season.

"That should give them more traction, more grip, the grass isn't as long there, and we'll be carrying out more remedial work.

"We'll be looking at inviting our racegoers back to a future meeting. I've been here 22 years and we've never had to abandon a race meeting mid-meeting - it is gutting for everyone."

Jedd O'Keeffe's Saisons D'Or was a standout winner at the shortened meeting, winning the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Handicap by a game head.

"He's an absolute superstar, he's been around with me since he was a foal," O'Keeffe said.

"He's ultra genuine, ultra tough. When things go right for him he's a superstar.

"He's owned by the syndicate, most of whom are from Yorkshire, but not all. Some have been in the syndicate with various horses for years, into the tens and teens of years. It's fantastic that the horse rewards them time and again.

"He's the perfect syndicate horse because he just tries so hard, he always goes there with some sort of a chance."

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