Horse racing: Musselburgh to stage extra fixture

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Musselburgh will bring down the curtain on flat racing in Scotland this year when they stage an extra fixture on Tuesday.

The East Lothian track has stepped in to host a meeting transferred from Newcastle as the Tyneside course embarks on a multi-million pound scheme to build an all-weather track.

“The meeting either came to us or went to Southwell on the all-weather and we felt it best to keep it in the north,” said Musselburgh boss Bill Farnsworth. “Unfortunately, we have had to inherit the Newcastle card, so prize money will not be up to our usual level.”

Seven races are scheduled – although there could be eight – with 140 entries and Farnsworth added: “The going should be good and we are happy with the level of entries.”

In past years, Musselburgh have staged an October fixture which they funded themselves, but were unable to do so this season after the British Horseracing Board changed the rules.

“Self-funded fixtures had to have £90,000 in prize money and we were happy at that level, but then they increased it to £140,000,” said Farnsworth. “Having to put up that sort of money at this time of the year when we would not get a substantial crowd would have seen us heavily out of pocket. “

However, with Ayr having staged their last flat meeting this week, Musselburgh will again close proceedings on the level north of the Border before beginning their richest-ever National Hunt season next month.