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Dods criticises Thirsk over failure to be ready for owners

RACEHORSE trainer Michael Dods has criticised Thirsk Racecourse for not being ready to welcome owners at its meeting on Monday.

Despite other racecourses being ready, Thirsk has told owners that it is not prepared to open its doors to them at its meeting tomorrow.

Michael Dods said: “We all know how important it is to get owners back at the racecourses as soon as possible. They are the lifeblood of the industry and, without them, we don’t have a sport.

“The British Horseracing Authority has given the go-ahead for owners to return as from yesterday, with two owners per horse allowed. Like trainers, stable staff and jockeys, the owners have gone through a strict training module to keep everyone safe.

“Why then are we now being told that Thirsk Racecourse Ltd (Official) isn’t ready to accept owners at its meeting on Monday? We all knew the day was coming when owners would be allowed back, so how can Thirsk not be ready?

“Other courses have all been able to get owners back, under the strict regulations laid down by the BHA, but Thirsk has made itself an exception and it’s simply not good enough. In fact, it’s a disgrace.

“This has been a difficult time for everyone and, on the whole, the industry has done a great job in getting racing back on the agenda. But let’s not forget that the racecourses aren’t putting in any prize money at the moment.

"Owners have been incredibly patient and Thirsk needs to get its act together.”