All horse racing in Britain has been postponed until next Wednesday at the earliest after cases of Equine Influenza were discovered at the Cholmondeley stables of Donald McCain.

The unprecedented decision to abandon the meets was taken on Thursday following the three confirmed cases at McCain's Bankhouse Stables, while British horses will also not run in Ireland until further notice.

McCain was supposed to have runners at Ludlow and Ayr on Wednesday but it is believed none of the horses affected were taken to races and the veteran trainer says he is working to find a solution.

"I have been aware of the recent news about equine influenza outbreaks in France and Ireland, and over the last couple of days, I have been concerned about the health status of a small number of horses in the yard," McCain said in a statement issued through the National Trainers' Federation.

"Their welfare is at the front of our minds so at my request our veterinary surgeon examined them regularly and we have followed his advice on testing and treatment. It was by following this protocol the positive results for equine flu came to light Wednesday evening.

"The British Horseracing Authority were contacted immediately and we are liaising closely with them about biosecurity and management of all the horses at Bankhouse.

"Bankhouse follows all the available advice on disease control and all our horses are fully inoculated. We are scrupulous about observing the health status of horses in our care and taking the necessary steps to treat any condition that may affect them. It follows we would never race any horses that we could have known were infected.

"Over the last two months, all potential runners have been scoped and their blood checked within 36 hours of their races to ensure that only healthy horses compete for the yard.

"When new horses arrive at our yard we, as much as possible, try to keep them separate but at this stage cannot know if the infection came from recent arrivals or from horses returning from racing.

"We have three confirmed cases and this morning have taken blood and swabs from all the others for testing."

On Thursday, the BHA said no more positive cases have been found but they are still waiting to find out more information.

“While no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing", said the governing body ion a statement.

"The disease can take up to three days before symptoms are visible, meaning it will take until Sunday at the earliest before the BHA can gather all the information required.

“This approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday. This may then allow declarations to take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday.”