New blow to horse racing as more equine flu cases announced

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LONDON (AP) -- Four new cases of equine flu have been reported by the British Horseracing Authority in a blow to the sport's hopes of resuming action on Wednesday.

The cases were identified in vaccinated thoroughbreds at the Newmarket yard of trainer Simon Crisford, the BHA said late Sunday.

Racing has been on an enforced six-day shutdown since Thursday following three cases -- which subsequently rose to six -- of the highly infectious disease found at Donald McCain's stable in Cheshire.

A statement from the BHA on Sunday said a further update would be issued Monday.

"This will include further details of action that is being taken off the back of this incident, and how the process will operate for the decision which will be made tomorrow evening regarding whether it is possible to resume racing on Wednesday."

In 2001, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease resulted in a two-month suspension of racing for two months in Britain, leading to the cancellation of the Cheltenham Festival, which is held every March.