26 December 2005

Races abandoned in security alert


It is the second security alert within two months

Racing at Down Royal racecourse in County Down has been abandoned following a bomb alert.

Thousands were forced to leave the Boxing Day meeting near Hillsborough after a telephone warning that a bomb had been left at the course.

Mike Todd, manager of Down Royal, said the remaining six races would be run on Tuesday with free admission for all.

In November, the Continuity IRA was blamed for an alert which cut short the high-profile NI Festival of Racing.

Organisers said that alert cost them tens of thousands of pounds.

Afterwards, the organisers promised a free £5 bet to everyone attending the next races - the Boxing Day meeting.

On Monday, the committee of the racecourse thanked everyone for leaving in an orderly manner.

They condemned those behind the bomb warning, but said they would not be outdone by a "tiny minority who are determined to ruin one of the few shared sporting events in this region".

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