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Money paid after abandonment

Chelmsford City news 275 wideThe ROA Raceday Curtailment Scheme is giving £100 to any members who own at least 51% of a horse due to run at Chelmsford City which was abandoned because of a power cut.

Members do not need to apply for this Scheme. As long as the affected owner's ROA membership is up to date the payment will be made automatically.

The track called off the rest of its Tuesday evening meeting after the track was plunged into darkness by a power cut midway through the third race.

All eight runners in the 7f handicap, which was declared void, completed safely after the lights went out two furlongs from the finish.

A stewards' inquiry into the contest concluded judge David Hicks had insufficient light to call the result of the race.

But 'winning' trainer Jamie Osborne insisted Florencio, owned by the globetrotting Melbourne 10, which includes the trainer, should have taken the race after he filmedthe five-year-old finishing first past the post under Nicola Currie.

"I am annoyed," said the Lambourn trainer. "It was blatantly obvious to me and the racegoers watching just who had finished first, second, third and fourth.

"They probably could have limited the damage of this by allowing the result to stand but the stewards had no interest in seeing my film, and apparently the rule is that if the judge can't determine the first four home, then the race has to be void."

There were reports other riders in the race eased their mounts down when the floodlights failed as they turned the corner into the home straight.

Both Luke Morris and PJ McDonald were reported to have said their horses were spooked by the sudden darkness.

The official inquiry into voiding the race stated: "The judge was interviewed. The judge explained that due to insufficient light he was not able to verify the full result. The stewards were unable to view the last two furlongs of the race and, taking into consideration the judge’s evidence, the stewards declared the race void."

The stewards, forwarding a report to the BHA head office, then looked for explanations from the racecourse about the drama and reported officially: "The clerk of the course, racecourse executive and an electrician were interviewed.

"Having heard their evidence, the decision was made in conjunction with racecourse management, to abandon the remainder of the meeting."

Chelmsford general manager Fraser Garrity reported later in the evening that the floodlights were back on after being rebooted as the course worked to solve the problem in time for Thursday's scheduled meeting.

Garrity said: "We have immediately started investigating how this happened and looking at why the back-up system generators didn't kick in as they should have.

"No stone will be left unturned to get to the bottom of this and it is an absolute priority with all the relevant people coming in tomorrow morning, including the BHA inspector of courses Nicky Carlisle."

He confirmed that the power failure involved the floodlights, integrity tower which houses the judge, and the big screen while the trackside stands, which shone some light on the track, and weighing room area remained lit.

Garrity apologised to racegoers, who are entitled to a 50 per cent refund, and the horsemen who missed their engagements with the remaining four races abandoned.

14 November 2018

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