HORSE racing’s governing body has defended itself after refusing to grant a racing licence for the track at Great Leighs.

The British Horseracing Authority had been criticised for not being more forthcoming about the information it needed as part of the licence application.

Paul Struthers, media relations manager for the authority, said while the process required confidentiality, the authority wanted to refute the claims.

He said: “The applicant and the administrator have been provided with our reasons and, even prior to the decision taken, all parties were well aware of what was required.

“There are significant matters that have to be addressed, which were identified and communicated at the end of 2008 and early 2009. This is when the application for a licence by the company, now in administration, was rejected.

“These significant matters continue to apply and any application will need to deal with all matters set out in the application licence form.”

The group of companies which owned the track went into administration in January.

A deal to buy the track has been arranged with a consortium led by Terry Chambers, owner of Ashfields Carriage and Polo Club, in Great Canfield, but still needs to be finalised.

By missing out on the racing licence it is prevented from bidding for fixtures for next year.