Chepstow bugged by problems

Last Updated: 18/07/14 6:35pm

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Chepstow: Popular with racegoers, but also with nematodes.

Chepstow: Popular with racegoers, but also with nematodes.

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Chepstow's meeting next Friday has been transferred to Lingfield's all-weather course due to damage caused by microscopic organisms.

Nematodes, which feed on the roots of plants and can cause instability to racing surfaces with their activity, have damaged limited areas on the course.

Senior course inspector Richard Linley visited the Welsh venue and it was agreed that in the interests of the safety of horses and riders the fixture on July 25 should be transferred.

The British Horseracing Authority will work with Chepstow to address the issue.

Jim Allen, racing director of owners Arena Racing, said: "Whilst the issue has been identified in its early stages there are small areas of track where the turf has become unstable and so it is in the best interests of horses and riders that the fixture is transferred.

"We have worked with BHA to transfer the fixture to Lingfield Park and apologise for the inconvenience this may course horsemen.

"Work is already under way to ensure the turf at Chepstow is repaired so racing can resume as soon as possible."

Nematodes were last present at Chepstow in 2010. Since then the racecourse has sprayed once a month with a turf conditioner to promote healthy, strong roots, which along with regular fertilising, aims to provide a healthy sward.

However, despite these efforts unusual nematode activity was identified this week and now remedial action is taking place to renovate the affected areas. This includes mowing, harrowing and re-seeding.

The next meeting at Chepstow is scheduled for August 6, the first of three fixtures that month.

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