No British horse racing until Wednesday amid flu outbreak

EI outbreak halts British racing

The loss of Musselburgh's richest ever jumps meeting on Sunday because of a UK-wide alert about an equine flu outbreak is "a real, real shame", the clerk of the course has said. Huge quarantine zones were declared and horse racing was suspended, with the cancellation of a three-day Olympics qualifying event.

These will show whether the outbreak has spread further and guide decisions around when racing might resume.

Paddy Power have not offered odds on whether the Cheltenham Festival will be cancelled or not, but it is effectively a 5/1 chance that it will, given it starts after March 1st. "We have three confirmed cases and this morning have taken blood and swabs from all the others for testing".

While it is not thought to be life-threatening, like any virus, it limits the ability to compete and it is highly contagious.

The BHA said on Thursday that its veterinary team "has been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading".

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One specific area that the Norwegian has significantly improved is United's away form. "At the moment he deserves it". The pair famously didn't get on and Pogba had grown frustrated at the defensive role he was being asked to play.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We have a team of six vets here now - taking nasal swabs off all of our 150 horses - and they are then going to be driven immediately to the Animal Health Trust at Newmarket, where they will be analysed".

How has the situation unfolded?

They raced on Wednesday and the BHA says they potentially exposed the flu to a "significant number of horses from yards" in Britain and Ireland.

The decision by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) comes after three vaccinated horses in an active yard tested positive for the disease. Racing is continuing as normal in the Republic of Ireland.

The blanket ban means a total of at least 23 meetings will be lost, including Newbury's Betfair Hurdle card on Saturday.

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"When new horses arrive at our yard we, as much as possible, try to keep them separate", McCain said in a statement.

"This is very, very virulent - so it doesn't matter how much pains you go to to keep these things at bay, it is very unsafe".

"We are all totally vaccinated - rigidly, it's compulsory".

As a result, outbreaks are extremely rare, but the fact that all three of the horses affected at McCain's stable had been vaccinated prompted immediate concern that a new strain of the disease could spread rapidly through the racing industry.

"I don't know if that will need a few more days or not".

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The school and charity staff also couldn't help but gush over the duchess, saying she was very "engaging" and "wonderful". While a third person said, "I don't like her dress today... looks like a green monster with [eyes]".

With Cheltenham less than five weeks away, there are understandable worries about whether the four-day Festival will be affected and while not almost on the same scale, there are uncomfortable echoes of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.

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