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Gary Moore slams BHA as trainers struggle to find Lingfield riders

Gary Moore has hit out at the BHA's race planning after trainers struggled to find riders for Lingfield's annual hurdle race for Flat jockeys on Tuesday because of a clash with Kempton's all-weather meeting.

While Lingfield's 2m handicap hurdle for Flat riders has been scheduled for 1pm, Kempton's seven-race Flat card gets under way 20 minutes later, making it impossible for some riders to be in action at both meetings.

Hector Crouch, Rob Hornby and Joey Haynes were all possibles for the Lingfield race but will be 35 miles away instead having been booked for Kempton's opening race

Moore believes the clash could have been avoided. "Quite why the BHA has put on an early race at Kempton I don't know, as if it was later, the likes of Hector Crouch could do both meetings," he said.

Moore, who has saddled the runner-up in Lingfield's race for the last two years, added: "It was the same last year. It doesn't make any sense and it makes a mockery of  the race."

Moore, who even had his son Ryan jocked up on one of his entries before  the declaration stage, has called up Shane Kelly for his runner Flaminger, one of only five to go to post.

Shimba Hils, who was third in the race in 2016, was withdrawn on Monday afternoon after trainer Lawney Hill was unable to find a suitable jockey.

A spokesman for the BHA said: “We will be speaking to the PJA and racecourse and taking a look at where this race sits in the race programme for next year.”

As to his chances of finally landing the prize, Moore added: "Hopefully, we're not second again, and Flaminger goes there with a great chance as he'll like the ground."

Zoe Davison provides three of the five runners, including The Game Is A Foot, who won the unique race in 2017 and is the mount of Tim Clark. 

The ten-year-old returns from nearly a year off and may have to give best to stablemate Ruacana, partnered by former jump jockey Trevor Whelan, who has a fitness edge having won at the track a week ago. 

Davison, who also runs O'Rahilly under Phil Dennis, said: "Ruacana has come out of his recent win very well and as Lingfield is just up the road we'll give him another go. 

"The Game Is A Foot won the race a couple of years ago but will need this as a pipe-opener as he's been off since January. We thought we'd throw O'Rahilly in there as there were so few entered, although he has a bit to do at the weights."

Dougie Costello has his first ride over jumps for two years on Karakoram, who is in good form, most recently when third in a decent race at Warwick this month. 

Trainer Grace Harris said: "Dougie is looking forward to riding Karakoram, who was originally going to run at Leicester on Monday before that was called off. He's been in good form of late and goes there with a decent shout."

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