I just wanted to give you the latest, as of 3pm Monday, position as regards the resumption of Racing; essentially the BHA Veterinary Committee will come to a conclusion regarding racing on Wednesday at around 10.30pm this evening, the lateness being so that they can consider as much real time evidence as possible; you can see a more detailed rationale behind the timeframe and the parameters for the decison below.
We have entries for Black Truffle and Mezmaar at Kempton on Wednesday evening; for Black Truffle, Marshall Aid, and Arlecchino's Arc at Chelmsford on Thursday evening, for Bird for Life and Arlecchino's Arc at Lingfield on Friday and for Born to Please, making her debut in a Handicap Hurdle, at Huntingdon on Sunday. Self evidently what we might run where will hinge on the BHA's decision making process, starting with their call late this evening.
Both Mike and I remain grateful for your patience and for your support; the Rowdown horses, and their training regime, remain unaffected by the current events; we will be in touch as soon as we have something more concrete to communicate but everyone devoutly hopes that it will be possible to race on Wednesday.
Whether racing should resume in Britain on Wednesday will be discussed at length on Monday night, with an industry veterinary committee meeting key to hopes of the shutdown ending.
When the initial three positives for equine influenza from Donald McCain's yard were revealed, the committee met on Wednesday night, which in turn led to the decision to suspend racing from last Thursday until at least Wednesday in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
With information on the outbreak changing rapidly as more and more nasal swabs are analysed by the Animal Health Trust, the BHA is keen for the committee to have every possible piece of data at its disposal before any decisions are made.
This means an announcement on whether there will be a resumption for the sport on Wednesday will not be known until 10.30pm at the earliest.
A prioritisation process is in place with swabs in an effort to aid the decision-making process, based on the potential exposure of horses to a horse that has tested positive - for example at the fixture at Ayr last Wednesday) - or to a horse from a yard returning a positive test. In addition, some swabs are being fast-tracked.
Along with the six positives from McCain-trained horses, the further four positive tests from Simon Crisford's yard which were revealed late on Sunday night has taken the total to ten from more than 2,000 swabs analysed.
The veterinary committee
David Sykes (Chair) – BHA
Alasdair Topp – Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons
Amanda Piggot – BHA
Antony Clements – British Equine Veterinary Association
Clive Hamblin – NTF
David Dugdale – ROA
Dr Richard Newton – Animal Health Trust
James Wigan – Independent
Prof Sidney Ricketts – TBA
Simon Knapp – RCA
Courses due to stage fixtures on Wednesday, meanwhile, are getting ready as normal in the hope of a green light.
Four meetings are due to take place in Britain on Wednesday, with two over jumps at Plumpton and Musselburgh, plus a brace of all-weather cards at Kempton and Southwell.
It is understood that one option to be discussed is whether jump racing alone could return on Wednesday, with a more pressing need for a resumption than is the case for Flat racing, with the Cheltenham Festival on the horizon.