Racing at Chelmsford abandoned as power cut causes blackout during race

Jockeys had a miracle escape from serious injury when a power cut plunged Chelmsford into darkness two furlongs from the end of a race.

The eight runners contesting the floodlit seven-furlong handicap were turning for home when the blackout struck, causing the abandonment of the fixture with four races remaining.

“We all dodged a bullet,” said PJ McDonald — the Professional Jockeys Association Flat President — who was riding the Stuart Williams-trained Swift Approval.

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise it was dangerous.

“The main thing is that everyone came back safe, that nobody was hurt and we were all able to get in our cars and go home.”

Luke Morris, on board Barrington, added: “I’ve never known anything like it. I had just asked my horse to quicken at the top of the straight and then it was total darkness.

“If it had been a 15-runner five-furlong maiden or an apprentice race, something serious could have happened.”

An investigation will be held into the blackout, and the BHA’s Robin Mounsey said: “The judge has not been able to determine the finishing order, so the race was declared void.”

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