This afternoon’s meeting at Salisbury has been abandoned after the track was found to be unfit for racing due to apparent chafer grub damage.
Chafer grubs had already forced the abandonment of Epsom’s meeting on Thursday and Salisbury’s clerk of the course Jeremy Martin confirmed that the unsafe area was perfectly raceable on Monday.
“We discovered some areas of loose turf on the loop section of the racecourse and further out on the outside some badger scratchings as well, so although we only think it’s affecting the loop section, we can not guarantee that the straight course is unaffected,” said Martin.
“We need more time to fully assess the situation and the BHA are coming to have a look today. Safety is paramount and sadly we’ve had to pull the plug on today’s meeting.
“It’s not something I’ve ever seen here before since arriving in 2001, this is the first time but it does appear to be chafer grub damage.
“There was no indication of a problem previously and I walked the course twice yesterday. It’s been discovered this morning and we’ve found several areas on the loop section with a loose surface so it’s happened overnight.
“We race again Friday, we’ll talk to the BHA about the best course of action and while I haven’t looked at how long the treatment takes, if the straight course is unaffected we may be able to stage a meeting just on there but that all needs to be discussed.”