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Great Leighs - In Administration

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Britain's newest racetrack, Great Leighs, has been placed into administration.

The British Horseracing Authority confirmed on Friday that the Essex venue had its latest application for an extension to its temporary licence refused and next Thursday's scheduled fixture had already been moved to Kempton.

A statement issued from administrators Deliotte this evening said: "We have today been appointed administrators and will be assessing the position of the group in order to determine the best outcome for its creditors.

"We will continue to work with existing management and key business partners to continue to trade the business in the short term.

"We are currently in discussions with the sport's regulatory body, the British Horseracing Authority, in respect of securing the course's racing licence and ability to continue to trade as a going concern while we investigate the opportunity of a sale."

Earlier in the day John Holmes, owner of the track, had said: "We are going through a restructuring process at the moment and as part of that we were operating under a temporary licence.

"We successfully ran four fixtures this month under a temporary licence but the process has taken longer than we hoped.

"We applied for an extension to cover the next two (January 22 and 29) but were told we had not supplied enough information.

"Because of the timing for entries, we have lost next Thursday's fixture.

"We are back at the BHA on Monday with a view to resuming racing from January 29."

The application for a temporary licence was declined at a hearing on Thursday, meaning the track will not be able to race until the issue is resolved.

A statement on www.britishhorseracing.com explained: "The racecourse managing executive has been operating under temporary licences since January 1, 2009, the latest of which expired at midnight on January 15, 2009.

"An application at the hearing was made for a new temporary licence to operate until the end of January.

"The committee declined to grant a further temporary licence.

"The effect is that, unless and until a new application is made and is successful, there is no licence in place for racing at Great Leighs.

"The Racing Department of the BHA are dealing with the Fixture List and racing administration consequences of this."

Built on the 430-acre site of the former Essex showground north of Chelmsford, Essex, the track should originally have been launched in October 2006.

However, a series of hold-ups dogged the track until it finally opened its doors in April last year to become the first new British racecourse since 1927.


Is anything immune... it appears not.

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Gambling is immune but leisure is first against the wall. Great Leighs is a leisure attraction with gambling attached. All they had to do was stick computer generated horse races on tintrernet and they'd have been fine. Instead they spunked their capital on a racecourse. Stupid or what? The same goes for casinos.

People are addicted to gambling but we have to realise that business needs to trim the fat. Who needs a fancy casino when punters are happy to blow their benefit cheques whilst watching Dickie Branson's "Roulette Nation", tucked up with 20 Silk Cut and a 6 pack from Asda?

If we wanted gambling to be a true leisure activity, one where the flutter was secondary to the socialising, government could have legislated, as they have in the US, and placed restrictions on TV & online gaming. Instead they seem much happier to have us retire to our cells after work. Less chance of social cohesion and all the attendent people power possibilities.

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Just think of all that land ripe for a developer to buy up and build hundreds of shoeboxes........... :rolleyes:

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Great Leighs is a 'all weather' track { looks like sand } , hardly anyone goes to A/W as no atomosphere , low grade horses etc only the bookies really want it as betting shop fodder , the design of the track is laughable as the granstand is in the middle of the track so spectators have to rely on screens in the grandstand to watch the action .

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