The coach describes British racing as the sport’s “laughing stock” following the recent ground fiasco

Lingfield became the fourth racecourse to abandon action in a week due to soil concerns. Beverley, Haydd and Chester have also been canceled in recent days

Eve Johnson-Houghton pictured at the Tattersalls October Sales in Newmarket
Eve Johnson-Houghton pictured at the Tattersalls October Sales in Newmarket

A coach has described British racing as the “laughing stock of the sporting world” following the recent ground fiasco.

Eve Johnson Houghton expressed her strong views after Lingfield became the fourth track to retire in the last week. The Surrey venue canceled two competitions due to ground problems, which also wiped out Beverley, Haydd and Chester.

“I’ve never been more embarrassed to be a part of this industry,” Johnson Houghton tweeted. “Why did 4 lanes do it so wrong it’s not safe to drive around. As coaches we are punished if we do a little thing wrong. What steps is the BHA taking. We are the laughing stock of the sports world.”

Lingfield stewards made the call after William Buick, who had a chance of winning his first jockey championship that season, reported that his horse had slipped in the opening competition.

He was part of the delegation of racing pros who checked the floor while fellow weigh-rooms Pat Cosgrave and Jack Mitchell also provided feedback.

“After inspecting the track, examining the evidence and failing to find a timely or workable solution to address the safety concerns, the Stewards ordered Races 2 and 3 to be abandoned and Races 4 through 7, which are taking place on the straight (track), cancel. carry on as carded,” the report said.

After the first race, the surface was changed to good, good in places to firm (from good to firm, good in places). Then the fourth, which was officially described as good, in places good to soft. Lingfield’s meeting is said to be the last turf action for several months to allow drainage work to be carried out.

A racecourse spokesman confirmed that owners who allowed horses to compete in the canceled races and jockeys who were left without a ride would be compensated.

Racegoers were offered free entry to a future game, while bookmakers could apply for a credit. The latest ground problems came just days after Chester’s card was lost on Saturday.

Two races at Lingfield Park Racecourse (pictured) were abandoned on Monday



Dozens of fans were disappointed by the track’s tweet about the chain of events – and the same account posted an apology with several clarifications on Monday. The meeting was canceled after Humanitarian crashed into the corner in the fourth contest of the afternoon.

Industry experts were also frustrated when Haydock pulled out of Friday night’s meeting midway through.

“There was a very light rain shower beforehand which made the surface so slippery that the jockeys were unhappy continuing to ride it,” track director Kirkland Tellwright told ITV Racing.

The track was able to continue as usual with Saturday’s meeting, as did Beverly, the venue that lost action on Wednesday. Only four races were run and managing director Sally Iggulden said: “Unfortunately it was not felt to be safe and that is of the utmost importance.”

A spokesman for the British Horseracing Authority said: “The BHA is speaking to the racecourses, competitors and our teams of course inspectors to determine if a common cause can be found between the four games affected by race cancellations.”

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