Flat racing edges closer at Wetherby

Officials at Wetherby will now step up their bid to stage Flat racing during the summer following a successful trials day on the course.

Jonjo Sanderson, chief executive of Wetherby Racecourse.

Yorkshire’s sole jumps-only venue was given the thumbs up by a party of trainers and jockeys after a host of horses were worked over a variety of distances on Tuesday.

Wetherby will now press on to be allocated fixtures by the British Horseracing Authority, as early as next year if possible.

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Clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson hopes to convince racing’s rulers to confirm a provisional Flat fixture pencilled in after the West Yorkshire track lost its jumps meeting on the last Sunday in April.

“That fixture theoretically is still there and capable of being converted into a Flat fixture for 2015, but we’ll have to see if we can get any extra as well,” he said.

“It is very much subject to the BHA racecourse department being satisfied that we can stage Flat racing. Yesterday was a big stride towards proving that.

“We will now engage with the BHA and formally ask them what they need us to do, or demonstrate to them, for us to be a suitable Flat track in the future, hopefully next year, or if not the year after that.

“I will now go to the BHA and say we wish to formally be engaged in the Flat racing process and see what they say.

“Until I do that I can’t put a time limit on it.

“Ideally we’d like to be involved in the 2015 Flat fixture process, which is due to take place any time in the next two to three months. We’d like to be involved with that. They know we have aspirations for that.

“Hopefully what we have to do can be done quickly and we can get to that process and maybe get a couple of fixtures for next year.

“We are going to put the ball in the BHA court and see what they require of us. Then we’ll address whatever it is they want us to do.”