After two fatal injuries marred the fifth race at Sedgefield, racing was called off on Thursday due to safety concerns.

In the 2m4f handicap hurdle, Donald McCain’s trained horse Sweet Auburn stumbled and hurt itself as it turned for home.

Thermusa, trained by Ruth Jefferson, who was leading at the time, suffered an injury after the second-to-last hurdle. Anti Bridgie was the victor in the race.

Following the race, a group of officials, jockeys, and trainers inspected the track. After much deliberation, it was decided to call off the remaining two races.

Clerk of the course Michael Naughton said: “It was the concerns of the trainers that there were two horses fatally injured in the same race in two different places. They just felt they didn’t want to go ahead with the two horses being killed in one race. We’ve had two horses unfortunately not make it from different races before, but it’s the fact of losing two in the same race that caused concern.

“There’s nothing wrong with the ground, we inspected it, we have turf services treading in between every race all the way around that bend, so, they couldn’t find anything untoward.

“They just thought with horse welfare and jockey safety they didn’t want to continue.”

Sedgefield: The following track meeting will be held on November 10

Speaking earlier to Sky Sports Racing, Naughton said: “Both bends have been realigned. When they come round, there’s an adverse camber on that bend turning into the home straight. Everybody says it’s been an age-old thing here and that’s what they’re blaming it on.”

Sedgefield’s next meeting is on November 10 and Naughton added: “It will be all hands on deck [before the next meeting], we’ll do a very thorough search of the top bend and make sure everything is 100 per cent right.

“The ground is perfectly fine – everyone has said it’s perfectly fine. They’ve raced around the bend five times today, so it has been okay every other race. It’s a very, very unfortunate incident and sincere condolences to all connections of the two horses.”

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