Early call on Leicester’s next meeting to be made by BHA

Racing chiefs are to make an early call over next week's scheduled meeting at Leicester.

Yesterday's fixture went ahead as planned, but not without controversy, just hours after the city was put in lockdown again.

Trainers including Mick Appleby and Chelsea Banham were among those to withdraw their runners over Covid-19 concerns – and all races began from a flip start due to a shortage of stalls handlers.

The BHA said it will make a decision about Leicester's July 7 card on Friday lunchtime, after leaders speak to the relevant authorities.

Entries are being taken as normal.

A BHA spokesperson said: "Yesterday’s race meeting was held with the approval of the local authority and Public Health England under the strict protocols agreed in advance of the resumption of sport behind closed doors.

"The lockdown effectively reinstated restrictions as they were on June 14th, in the view of local officials, when racing was permitted in accordance with UK government guidelines.

"Given that the local lockdown measures may still be evolving, it’s important that dialogue continues ahead of any future events in Leicester.

"Our industry colleagues will be briefed on this dialogue and will consider any potential impacts on racing.

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"Our focus continues to be on making sure racing behind closed doors takes place as safely as possible."

The BHA will also contact representative bodies within the industry regarding issues arising from local lockdowns.

Yesterday's meeting was given the go-ahead a day after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said local non-essential businesses would have to close.

He also advised that people should not travel to the city unless it was essential.

The city council has reported 944 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the last two weeks.

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