RACING suffered its latest farce as NO horses were declared for a race at Newbury on Saturday.
Trainers declare a horse will definitely run 48 hours before the race.
Punters often scour the British Horseracing Authority website to find out what horses will run in which contest two days before.
But many were left stumped on Thursday morning when the final race at Newbury this weekend had no declared runners.
This despite the racecourse expecting a bumper crowd for the Craig David gig taking place after the action on the track.
One punter joked if they could enter their cat to run in the race which had a prize fund of £6500.
It is unclear what will now happen to the contest, which was to be a a Class 5 Stonegate Homes Fillies' Novices Stakes over 1m2f.
Some 13 horses were entered for the race as of Monday but now none will run.
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Some speculated it could be a protest over prize money, with a race at Lingfield scrapped three years ago in anger over the 'ridiculous' money on offer.
No runners were declared for a 5f contest worth £4500 while just one horse from 18 entered ran in a 1m novice stakes.
Top trainers such as John and Thady Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute and Roger Varian had all entered horses at Newbury.
Ralph Beckett, who also had a horse due to run, said on Thursday morning that the trainers essentially went on strike against prize money.
The winner of the race was due to pocket £3500.
He told the Racing Post:
"Trainers have decided, it seems, that £3500 for the winner of a novice at Newbury isn't enough for them to run. It's a Grade 1 track and it's a Saturday afternoon.
"I decided to declare my horse to run elsewhere and, presumably – I have no idea – because trainers are independent creatures they have decided to take the same view.
"The race was originally carded to be worth £5,300 in total and Newbury added to it after the entry stage, but it clearly wasn't enough – it was too little, too late.
"I believe there was some correspondence from one trainer with the racecourse when the conditions were published a month ago."
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