Horse race meetings hit by big freeze

The National Hunt meeting at Uttoxeter on Tuesday has been abandoned as the wintry weather continues to disrupt the racing programme.

Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:01 pm
Meetings in doubt

Clerk of the course Charlie Moore announced an 8am inspection on Monay morning as the Staffordshire track was left covered by three inches of snow.

And with the situation not expected to improve by raceday - it could even get to as low as minus 10C overnight - Moore said there was "no chance of any recovery" and made a swift decision to call off the fixture.

Monday afternoon's Flat meeting at Southwell at least passed an early-morning inspection, while there are no reported issues at Fontwell . The fixture at Musselburgh had, however, already been abandoned on Sunday.

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The situation looks precarious at Ayr as its card on Tuesday is subject to a 9am precautionary inspection on raceday morning.

Temperatures dropped to minus 6C within the last 24 hours, but the track is covered by fleece sheets to protect against frost.

Cold weather is nonetheless likely to be prevalent over the next few days, with a forecast low of minus 5C on Monday.

Ayr clerk of the course Graeme Anderson said in a statement that it could "get 1C or 2C by midday" on Tuesday.

Wednesday's National Hunt meetings at Hexham and Leicester are in doubt, too, with both racecourses having called 7.30am inspections on Tuesday morning.

Hexham missed the most severe wintry showers over the weekend, but the track is still "partially frozen" after overnight temperatures dropped to minus 6C.

There is a likelihood of slightly warmer weather, but a statement issued by the Hexham executive said "higher temperatures than forecast are required to assist a thaw".

And with Leicester covered "with two-three inches of snow", clerk of the course Jimmy Stevenson needs to see a marked improvement.

Warwick's jumps meeting on Thursday must also pass an 8am course inspection on Wednesday morning.

The track is covered by heavy snow which could be exacerbated by another overnight frost.

Warwick clerk of the course Jane Hedley said in a statement: "Persistent snow yesterday has left the track under a layer of around 10cm.

"Monday is set to remain dry with bright spells before a very sharp frost into Tuesday (lows of minus 8C predicted).

"Tuesday remains very cold. Some milder air and spells of rain through Wednesday with temperatures expected to recover to around 5C."