Newcastle cut short
Wednesday 27 June 2012
Racing at Newcastle on Thursday was abandoned after four races following a thunderstorm at the Gosforth Park track.
The course had earlier passed an inspection after rain had turned conditions to heavy and four races were completed, but the runners for the fifth race were ordered to return to the parade ring as torrential rain returned. A decision was then taken to abandon.
With the parade ring drenched, and leaks in the stewards' room, weighing room and jockeys' changing room, clerk of the course James Armstrong said: "We've had over an inch of rain in 20 minutes. The stands aren't safe, it was an electrical storm and we only needed a shower to tip us over the edge."
He added: "It was ridiculous to keep them down at the start for the fifth so we called them back and it was an easy decision to call it off. We can't say anything about the next two days yet, we need to regroup. We've got major infrastructure issues away from the track."
Newcastle are due to hold a popular evening card on Friday, with the Northumberland Plate on Saturday the highlight of the Flat season at the track.
Armstrong said: "There's no decision (about Friday) as yet, but it's more an infrastructure issue now rather than the track, there's water coming in everywhere. We've got people out walking the track and there's a foot of water in some places. I'll be in first thing in the morning to assess conditions."
The action had begun with another odds-on defeat for New Pearl, who faced only two rivals in the Betfred "The Bonus King" Novice Stakes, and everything appeared to be going to plan two furlongs before Robert Winston asked for an effort, only for the colt to weaken behind Richard Fahey's Jubilee Games (4-1).
Winning jockey Lee Topliss said: "He went through the ground and we just took it steady. I thought Rob's horse had it won but he got tired in the ground. When I gave my lad a flick he picked up well but he's still a bit of a boy with a lot to learn."
New Pearl's trainer David Brown reported his horse would be checked over by the vet.
Fahey quickly doubled up with what looked a smart debutant - not to mention an appropriately named one in the conditions - as Unsinkable took the Betfred Mobile Sports Median Auction Maiden Stakes.