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Grubs force Bath racecourse to cancel event

Credit: ITV West Country

A Somerset racecourse has called off an event after grass eating grubs damaged the turf.

Gentlemen's Day has been cancelled at Bath Racecourse because of the chafer grubs.

The British Racecourse Authority has called off all racing on Saturday as the damage caused by the grubs means it is dangerous for horses.

People with tickets will either receive a refund or can attend on Sunday when a shorter race day is being held.

In the last year the grounds team at Bath have undertaken a number of actions, as recommended by agronomists, to try and prevent the return of chafer grubs without chemical intervention. Further assessment will take place following this weekend’s fixture and an update will be provided in due course.

– Bath Racecourse

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Cheltenham Festival: The stats

With the annual Festival kicking off on the 15 March, we've been taking a look at why the event just seems to get bigger every year.

Horses and Jockeys during a morning warm up at Cheltenham Racecourse. Credit: Andrew Matthews / PA

THE STATS

25,000+
amount of people on a normal race day
65,000
people expected this Friday on Gold Cup day
£150m
will be bet during the four day festival
£4m
worth of prize money on offer
800
journalists covering the event, goes to show just how much interest there is

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Pendleton will ride at Cheltenham Festival

Victoria Pendleton will ride Pacha Du Polder at the Cheltenham Festival next Friday.

The dual Olympic cycling champion will partner Pacha Du Polder in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase on Friday week.

Victoria Pendleton will be on Pacha Du Polder. Credit: PA

We have always had the extremely ambitious target of riding competitively in the Foxhunter as our goal, so to be announcing that I have achieved this goal is a truly amazing feeling.

– Victoria Pendleton

Pacha Du Polder's trainer Paul Nicholls and a team of experts made the decision to allow the 35-year-old the chance to fulfil her dream of appearing at next week's Festival.

Victoria Pendleton on course for Cheltenham Festival after Wincanton win

Victoria Pendleton rode Pacha Du Polder Credit: Racing UK

Victoria Pendleton won her first race as an amateur jockey at Wincanton.

The former Olympic cyclist only took up the sport a year ago, but road 5-4 favourite Pacha Du Polder to victory with a winning margin of 29 lengths.

She says she was determined to give the horse the race he deserved.

It was fantastic. I really just wanted a good round. I wanted to get round on the horse and give him a ride he deserved because he’s Pacha Du Polder and he is a lovely horse.

I feel very honoured and lucky to be allowed to ride such a wonderful animal.

– Victoria Pendleton

An announcement about her participation at Cheltenham is expected on Monday.

Horse-racing hero Kauto Star is put down

Former steeplechaser Kauto Star with his dressage rider Laura Collett (right) Credit: PA

Former steeplechasing champion Kauto Star has had to be put down. He sustained a complex fracture to the left side of his pelvis as the result of a fall.

Kauto Star was trained by Paul Nicholls at his stables in Ditcheat in Somerset. He twice won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase no less than five times.

When he retired, he began a new career in dressage, with European medallist Laura Collett as his guide.

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