Racing is suspended at Great Leighs racecourse following the British Horseracing Authority’s refusal to grant a temporary licence.

The Essex course had been operating under a temporary licence since 1 January 2009, but this expired after racing last night (15 January).

At a meeting between the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Great Leighs owner John Holmes yesterday, the BHA declined to grant a new temporary licence to allow racing to continue.

But the all-weather Essex course — which staged racing just last night — has told H&H it hopes to resume business from 29 January.

In a statement, John Holmes 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 29 January.”