‘Exceptionally dry summer’ forces more Bath swaps | horse racing news

Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

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Bath: Unable to install fixtures at the moment due to hard floor
Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

by Harry Wilson

A prolonged spell of dry and warm weather forced the turn of the following two Bath meetings to all over at Wolverhampton as the ground was too hard to race.

Meetings were postponed on Saturday 13 August and Wednesday 17 August on Tuesday and the ground in Bath was described as rough and no heavy rain in the forecast.

England just recorded its driest July since 1935 and it was also the driest July in the southeast and south of England as well as East Anglia, according to provisional statistics from the Met Office.

The consequences were a growing concern for the races, which included the closure of Newmarket with the Aquarius.

“Unfortunately, dry weather continues to affect our ability to race in Bath,” said Mark Spencer, managing director of the racing division of Arena Racing Company (ARC), which operates Bath. In what has been an exceptionally dry summer across the country, Bath has not experienced No rain in the last month.

Nathan Stirk

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Matches moved to Wolverhampton

Matches moved to Wolverhampton
Nathan Stirk

“In the interests of all involved, we feel it is best to host these matches at an alternative venue, in this Wolverhampton.”

Two other Bath installations were transferred last month on July 20 and July 29 to Southwell.

Saturday was set to be a popular get-together as Bath was scheduled to host “Cider Racenight” where viewers promised to spend a day racing “West Country Style” alongside a performance from The Wurzels.

Course writer Ben Hicks said: “Bath is known to have no irrigation system and we depend on the weather and rain. The only decent shower we got this month was on July 22nd, apart from that we had no measurable rain and there was no rain in expectations.

“We have the cart that we can use to keep the plant healthy and to help restore the track but it is not used to change the track. In the interest of everyone who wants to run horses here, the decision has been made.

“Ideally, we would need continuous rain over a long period of time for it to be safe to operate. A heavy shower on the floor that hasn’t rained for a long time is not enough to change the land.

“It’s disappointing but you have to remind yourself that when you depend on nature, it is somewhat out of your control.

“There are actions we take with the track and we do what we can, but there’s only so much you can do when you need the rain to really help.”


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First published 5:54 PM, August 2, 2022

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