Monday’s venues take measures against heatwave

Officials at Cartmel are confident they are well placed for Monday’s fixture as Britain braces itself for extreme heat.

With temperatures due to soar to as high as 40C in some parts of the country, racing at Windsor and at Beverley in East Yorkshire have already been abandoned.

Things are due to be a little cooler further north, however, and Cartmel’s seven-race National Hunt card has been brought forward to start at midday to avoid the worst of the heat.

Clerk of the course Anthea Leigh – whose recent birthday is celebrated in the opening Happy Birthday Anthea Maiden Hurdle – is therefore not anticipating any problems.

Anthea Leigh, clerk of the course at Cartmel
Anthea Leigh, clerk of the course at Cartmel (Simon Cooper/PA)

“We’re obviously a summer track, so we already have a lot of water for cooling and cooling teams in place,” she said.

“Over in the stable yard we have six wash-downs and we also have a great big tank of water, so horses can have a wash-off when they arrive and when they come across before they race we have a covered cooling area with an all-weather surface and cooling fans in that.

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“The fans get turned on a few hours before racing and once the horses get saddled up, they go into the cooling area before they race, which the vets have found to be very effective in controlling their temperature, so we have pre and post-race cooling.

“We have a big team who will be allocated to horses in each race, there’s water at every fence and there’s mobile water, so we’re well set up for cooling horses.”

On the decision to start racing earlier than previously scheduled, Leigh added: “Our temperature isn’t due to peak until around 4pm, so by starting at midday and finishing at 3.15pm, we will have completed all our racing before the peak temperature, which at the moment looks like 28C.

“We moved the two-runner novice chase to the last race so we can give them a lot of attention and one of them is trained by Jimmy Moffatt, so he only lives quarter of a mile away and is not going to be effected by travel.

“We have raced in these temperatures before. Thankfully we’re not in the Red Zone at the moment.”

The only other meeting in Britain on Monday takes place north of the border at Ayr.

The first race in Scotland will take place at 1.50pm, with the finale at 5.15, and clerk of the course Graeme Anderson has put in extra measures to ensure participants, both equine and human, stay cool.

Racing at Ayr
Racing at Ayr (Jeff Holmes/PA)

He said: “The maximum temperature we’re forecast at the moment is between 26C and 28C and that’s not to come in until 5pm or 6pm.

“Through the day we’re looking at 26C. We raced in warmer weather last year, but we’ve certainly got extra measures in place. We’ve got plenty of fans in the jockeys’ changing room, we’ve got the cooling fans for the horses on track and we’ve got plenty of water butts and buckets.

“I think we’ve got one horse coming up from Newmarket and he’s going to stay the Monday night as well. It’s a long way to go, but also a big part of it is that is when the heat is meant to be at it worst.

“We’re not due to get up to 21C/22C until about lunchtime. Obviously down south it’s slightly different, but hopefully we’ll be okay.”

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