The British Horseracing Authority defended Haydock’s decision to allow the last race on Saturday’s card to go ahead – in spite of increasingly poor visibility.

Heavy fog which had afflicted the Merseyside venue for most of the afternoon descended with venom during the concluding 32Red.com Handicap Hurdle.

With conditions worsening, it was only after the horses returned to the enclosures that the judge was able to announce that Clyne had landed the spoils.

Evan Williams’ six-year-old, ridden by Adam Wedge, was declared the winner over Le Rocher, but no distances were recorded, nor any official finishing time.

A stipendiary steward was positioned in one of the on-course medical vehicles to watch the runners and riders at ground level, while another steward monitored the horses finishing from the winning post.

BHA media manager Robin Mounsey said: “Shortly after jumping off for the last race, the fog came in very quickly and conditions deteriorated quite rapidly.

“The judge made it clear to the stipendiary team that it was difficult to judge the race, but the integrity of the result wasn’t in doubt in the end.

“The result took its time to be announced, but that was much more preferable to rushing the result, so as to be absolutely certain of what actually happened.

“Stewards were also in contact with jockeys throughout the entire day as to whether racing should continue.

“There has obviously been a response to the race being run, and part of our job is to assess things like this, which is something we will continue to do.

“Jockeys were supportive that horses’ and their own welfare wouldn’t be impacted, and that was our number one priority.”