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Racing in Britain will resume as scheduled after a six-day shut-down despite four new positive tests to equine influenza in horses at Newmarket.

The sport has been on hold since last Thursday, after three cases of the highly contagious virus were identified at the yard of Grand National-winning trainer Donald McCain in Cheshire.

Hopes of a resumption this week appeared to fade late on Sunday night when it was revealed four positive tests had been discovered at Simon Crisford’s stable in Newmarket.

But the BHA says racing will return on Wednesday as scheduled amid strict biosecurity protocols

“After consultation with its veterinary committee, and based on the latest tests conducted by the Animal Health Trust, the BHA’s chief regulatory officer, Brant Dunshea, tonight confirmed that racing could resume, but only with strict biosecurity controls in place,” a BHA statement said.

“This decision to return racing in a controlled, risk-managed manner was unanimously supported by the industry veterinary committee.”

The resumption means meetings will take place over jumps on Wednesday at Musselburgh and Plumpton, and on the Flat at Kempton and Southwell.

Major weekend cards are scheduled for Ascot, where the Ascot Chase is the feature, Haydock, which will host the Grand National Trial, and Wincanton, where the Kingwell Hurdle is the headline attraction.

EI is endemic in the UK and Ireland where horses are vaccinated.

Racing in NSW and Queensland was shut down for months in 2007 when EI was found in Australia where the horse population is not vaccinated.

 
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