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Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 13:52 UK

Wetherby set for fatalities probe

Ollie Magern, under Paddy Brennan, wins at Wetherby in November 2007
Ollie Magern, under Paddy Brennan, wins at Wetherby in November 2007

The British Horseracing Authority will investigate four fatalities on the opening day of the jumps season at Wetherby on Wednesday.

Marrel and Divex were put down after suffering injuries in the feature Bobby Renton Chase, while Nut Hand and Miss Giboa were also destroyed.

The Yorkshire course is due to host the Charlie Hall Chase on 31 October.

"The course inspector was here and everyone seemed happy with it," said Clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson.

"The trainers are not blaming it on the ground, or at least they haven't said that to me.

"Micky Hammond [trainer of Divex] said it was just one of those things and it wouldn't stop him running horses here again.

"We will have to liaise with the British Horseracing Authority to see what, if anything, we can do before the Charlie Hall meeting."

The Wetherby track has undergone £50,000 of renovations to improve the state of the ground following criticism last season.

British Horseracing Authority spokesman Paul Struthers said: "It is always desperately sad when a horse has to be put down as a result of injuries sustained during racing.

"In circumstances such as these it is our policy to undertake a thorough review and look into all of the circumstances - the course, the horses, the injuries and any other relevant information - in an attempt to establish whether or not there are common factors involved.

"We have already requested reports from our Racecourse Inspectorate, veterinary team and stewards, who were all in attendance (at Wetherby).

"We will await receipt of the reports and our other findings and will then liaise closely with the racecourse, trainers, jockeys and the RSPCA."

Struthers added: "Wetherby had received positive reports about the ground ahead of the meeting and we are not aware of any complaints made about the ground on the day."

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