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Leading UK Trainer Vents About Track Watering

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019

As we move towards the premier flat racing season in the UK, top trainer Mark Johnston has expressed via twitter his frustration with an alleged tendency by racetrack operators to overwater. The catalyst for his tweeted reproof was Ripon racecourse, who watered already good (dead) ground prior to their meeting on Sunday. Contacted by the Racing Post on Monday, Johnston was candid with his opinions, "We've definitely got a problem that ground is overwatered and not what we're looking for, for Flat horses." Johnston is also a qualified vet, and his concern extends beyond the immediate effect on racing. "It doesn't produce the best of racing and it's not doing the best for the breed in the long term." The BHA provides guidelines which state that 'Flat courses should aim to provide good to firm ground,' but they ultimately leave the track condition up to the racecourse managing official. Johnston was empathetic towards the track officials facing the possibility of 'non-runners' if the track is described as firm, but adamant in his position.

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