Great Leighs, due to be the first new British racecourse for nearly 80 years, has delayed its opening again.
 
The projected initial racing date of Oct. 8, 2006 was put back to February 22, 2007, but a further delay has occurred because of poor weather which has hampered construction work
 
No new date has been specified but the earliest time for the first fixture at the Essex track, which will use a synthetic surface, is late March and more likely in April, though it is a possible a further delay will occur.
 
Great Leighs’ four fixtures between Feb. 22 and March 15 have been returned to the British Horseracing Board, as were earlier ones. They will be reallocated to other tracks.
 
Chris Brand, the BHB acting chief executive, commented: "This delay is further disappointing news, and there is every indication that Great Leighs will not be ready to race in late March either.
 
"We are unable to comment any further until Great Leighs meets other conditions laid down by BHB relating to its 2007 fixtures."
 
There are potential penalty charges for the continuing return of fixtures to the BHB.
 
More will be known about the new racecourse’s progress in late January when inspectors from the Horseracing Regulatory Authority, which has to license the facility, inspect the site again.
 
It will become Britain’s 60th course when open.
 

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