02/05/2004 12:00AM

Newmarket to add dirt course

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Newmarket Racecourse has received planning permission to install a dirt track to run alongside its hallowed Rowley Mile Course. Given the go-ahead on Thursday by the local Forest Health District Council, track officials now require a building approval from the Jockey Club and an allocation of dates from the British Horseracing Board.

If all goes according to plan, construction of a straight 10-furlong Polytrack course would begin in June, with dirt racing starting in January 2005. The home of both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas and the headquarters of British racing, Newmarket has conducted recorded racing in one form or another since 1622.