‘Unsafe’ Newcastle horse race postponed after bosses realise it will be run in the dark

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BHA bosses have been forced to apologise and rearrange a race – after realising it would take place in the dark.

The 5.05pm 1m2f Class 6 race at Newcastle scheduled for tonight will now be run on Saturday’s card.

PA:Press AssociationNewcastle’s floodlights only focus on the straight part of the course and not the bend[/caption]

At The RacesThe race would have started at the 1m2f start in the corner of the track – a part of the course not covered by floodlights[/caption]

The northern track has floodlights – but only on the straight course.

The contest would have taken place eight minutes after sunset at 4.57pm, resulting in an ‘unsafe’ race, according to a BHA statement.

The statement read: “The BHA and Arena Racing Company (ARC) can confirm that the Find More Big Deals At BetUK Handicap (Class 6), which was due to be staged at Newcastle at 5.05pm today has been postponed and will be run as part of Saturday’s card at the same venue.

“This move has been agreed after it was identified this morning that the race, which is scheduled to take place over 1m2f42y on the round course, was due to go off after sunset.

“Only the straight course at Newcastle is covered by floodlights, meaning that it would not be safe to stage the race as planned due to low light.

“Connections of the ten declared runners have been contacted by the BHA to advise of this change, as well as to offer an apology and a reimbursement payment to assist with costs incurred in having made arrangements for the race to be staged as planned.

“The race will now be staged as part of Saturday’s card at Newcastle.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience and confusion resulting from this error.

“We will now take steps to identify what caused this issue to ensure it is not repeated.”

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The first race on the card is off at 4.30pm and over an even longer 1m4f.

But there will be enough natural light on the all-weather surface then for safe racing.

The five races after the 5.05pm will be run over the maximum distance of a mile, meaning the floodlights can be used.

Arc-winning jockey Luke Morris was one of those calling out the error.

In reply to a post on X announcing the postponement, he wrote ‘literally no words’ and put a clown face emoji.

This is not the first time in the past few days that the issue of low sun has caused confusion.

Groundsmen acted mid-race to omit the final flight in two contests at last weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival.

Superstars El Fabiolo and State Man were shown jumping the first fence and hurdle in the Dublin Chase and Irish Champion Hurdle respectively.

But by the time they came to jump it in the run-in it had been flagged off due to low light.

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