REBECCA MENZIES’ yard is the latest stable feared to have been hit by equine flu, the Times has revealed.
Three horses in the trainer’s care have started showing symptoms in keeping with the virus.
If the reports are confirmed, it would mean a total of nine horses have come down with the disease.
The BHA earlier announced six of Grand National-winning trainer Donald McCain’s horses and fallen foul of the illness, with one, Raise A Spark, racing at Ayr earlier this week.
The same statement hinted at ‘a separate suspicious case’ involving horses running at Newcastle on Tuesday and Wolverhampton on Wednesday, leading to a lockdown of an extra 54 yards across the country.
It now appears that Menzies, one of only four trainers to have runners at both tracks, is the subject of the release.
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Although not yet confirmed, the horses are said to be showing clear symptoms of the influenza strain.
Menzies released a statement to The Times this evening which read: “We have today together with the BHA taken the precaution to submit test swabs for analysis to the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket as a precaution following the sickness of three horses stabled in an isolation yard on our premises.
“At this stage we have not received the results, our horses in training all appear healthy and thriving and of course I fully support the actions of the BHA and I look forward to a swift conclusion for our industry so we can get back to providing enjoyment for so many.”
Racing around the country has already been abandoned for two days, with its earliest return set to be no sooner than Wednesday.
Trainer James Tate is one of many in the business concerned the Cheltenham Festival is under threat.
He appeared on Racing TV earlier today and said: “I would have been optimistic this morning (about the Festival) until I heard about the three more positive from Mr McCain’s yard and the other positives – I’d now be a little bit more worried.
“If no other yards were asked to be tested I think they could have it done by the end of next week.
“I think the BHA were trying to get all the testing done by Monday before we heard about these extra tests.
“If I was a bookmaker I would be offering long odds that we’ll get racing next week.”