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26th Jun, 2022

Final hurdle cleared as racing returns

Worcester Editorial 14th May, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

EMOTIONS were running high at Worcester Racecourse as it staged its first event on the track since it was hit by floods earlier this year.

More than 1,600 racegoers flocked to Pitchcroft last Wednesday (May 7) to see the likes of champion jockey Tony McCoy race to victory.

The National Hunt meeting came just three months after the course was submerged in 5ft of water, which resulted in a number of fences and rails being destroyed.

But Jenny Cheshire, general manager at Worcester Racecourse, said the team had worked relentlessly to make sure they were able to overcome the hurdle and get the track ready in time for the summer fixtures.

“Depth of water is something we are used to, but the difference this year was the storm which whipped up the currents under the water and it was that which did the damage,” she said.

“For example fencing, hoardings and rails were lost and we ended up with every tree trunk and branch on the course from Shropshire and beyond.

“When we came back a lot of people said they wouldn’t be any racing in the summer at Worcester and they won’t get things together on time, but we did, so it was quite emotional day on Wednesday.

“We have worked our socks off to get the track on the road and we were really proud of the effort put in.”

Mrs Cheshire, who has worked at the course for 13 years, said the impact of flooding was worse in the summer of 2007 which forced organisers to cancel 12 of their 20 races.

But she said her ground staff still deserved high praise to get back the track to a standard, which received rave reviews from race-goers.

“The ground had recovered remarkably well considering there was water on the track until the end of February,” Mrs Cheshire said.

“But all the credit has go to our ground staff to be able to get the track race-able for the beginning of May and provide such good ground that it had such a positive response from trainers and jockeys alike, so it was a very good start to the season.”

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