Bath two-day fixture condensed to all-sprint card on Sunday 17 September

13 Sep 2017 BHA Features Racecourse
  • Damage from chafer grubs on parts of track means only races over 5 and 5 ½ furlongs can be staged
  • Six-race card will now take place on Sunday 17 September over those distances
  • Racing will not take place on Saturday 16 September

This weekend’s two-day fixture at Bath Racecourse has been condensed to a six-race card on Sunday 17 September due to the effects of chafer grubs on parts of the racecourse.

Sunday’s race programme will consist of the four races originally due to take place over five or five and a half furlongs from 16 and 17 September, as follows:

The BHA has given permission for two of the three divisible races on the card to divide, regardless of whether the normal criteria for division are met.

When all races declare on Friday at 10am, the two races with the highest number of declarations will therefore be divided.

In the event that all three of the divisible races have identical numbers of declarations, the races with the highest Total Prize Fund will be divided.

Please note that any previous divisional preferences for these races will no longer apply.

Jon Pullin, Racing Director at Arena Racing Company, said: “On walking the course this morning the grounds team at Bath Racecourse discovered chafer grubs on the home bend, making that section of the racecourse unsuitable for racing.

Bath has always been susceptible these types of grubs which damage the turf by eating the roots of the grass and destabilising the racing surface.  A product called Merit Turf has previously been used to prevent the spread of chafer grubs but this has not been possible since October 2016 when the product became illegal in the UK.

“In the last year the grounds team at Bath have undertaken a number of actions, as recommended by agronomists, to try and prevent the return of chafer grubs without chemical intervention. Further assessment will take place following this weekend’s fixture and an update will be provided in due course.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to horsemen, racegoers and customers by this deeply frustrating situation. In agreement with the BHA, and to give horses as much chance as possible of running, a revised race programme incorporating sprint races will take place on the straight course on Sunday.

“The team at Bath Racecourse will contact customers and will aim to ensure any customers from Saturday who wish to attend on Sunday can do so, or receive a full refund.  In the longer term we will continue to find ways to treat and maintain the turf, as well as discuss with appropriate stakeholders, including the BHA and RCA, about working together achieve the reintroduction of Merit Turf.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Full race details and conditions will be updated on the BHA Racing admin site, www.racingadmin.co.uk, from Thursday 14 September.

For further information please contact the BHA Racing Department on 0207 152 0050 or via racing@britishhorseracing.com.