The first four races on Town Moor took place largely without incident, but in the fifth race Joueur Bresilien and Aidan Coleman slipped up on the bend, prompting a delegation of jockeys and officials to inspect the course.
The decision was then made to abandon the final two races, with clerk of the course Roderick Duncan keen for racecourse staff to begin remedial work on the track immediately to ensure Saturday’s seven-race card can go ahead as planned.
He said: “None of us want to see horses coming down like that. It gave us a problem earlier in the day and the track has continued to dry as we’ve gone through the day.
“The consensus was it wasn’t safe. The chase course has been less problematic, but we wanted to start our preparation by slitting the track and starting watering now to get it right for tomorrow.
“We’ll aerate the track and get some irrigated water on to it.”
Meanwhile, Joe Colliver was unseated from Grade One winner Sam Spinner at the penultimate flight in Newbury’s Long Distance hurdle.
The North Yorkshire challenger, trained by Jedd O’Keeffe, was already out of contention when badly hampered by a faller in a race won by the resurgent Unowhatimeanharry under Barry Geraghty who partners dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air in today’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
La Bague Au Roi maintained her unbeaten record over fences when taking a step up in class in her stride with a commanding front-running victory in the Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase at Newbury.
Having won on her chasing debut at the track earlier in the month, the Warren Greatrex-trained seven-year-old took this Grade Two race in her stride.
“She is brilliant,” enethused the trainer. “Richard Johnson said she is doing it all within herself. We always thought fences would be the making of her and it seems to be that way.”