Ayr called off due to frozen track

Saturday’s meeting at Ayr had to be abandoned following a late-morning inspection.

The Scottish fixture was not thought to be in danger at the start of the morning, but shortly after 10.30am, an inspection was called for 11.30am, with temperatures still below freezing and not rising as forecast.

And with conditions showing no signs of sufficient improvement ahead of the first scheduled race at 12.20pm, clerk of the course Graeme Anderson was left with no option but to call off proceedings.

Anderson told Racing TV: “The fleece went down (on the track) on Monday. We had temperatures of minus 4C on Monday night and minus 3C on Tuesday night. It was slightly milder with temperatures of minus 2C for the rest of the week.

“The problem we faced this morning is it was supposed to rise to 1C by 9am and it was still sitting at minus 3C, but we couldn’t wait any longer to take the sheets off.

“Once we’ve removed the sheets, more of the vulnerable areas have become pretty crusty and frozen underneath. As we took more of the sheets off it obviously revealed more, hence the reason the inspection was bit late – we couldn’t get a proper look at the track until 10am.

“We called the inspection for 11.30am and we’ve had a look all over as much as we can. The jockeys here are keen to race and we’re keen to race – we were looking to give it every chance.

“We spoke about delaying the first race and giving it longer. We’ve got a spiker out on the track, which was making a difference, but once we’ve spiked it, you’re probably looking at racing at 1pm at the very earliest. That just wasn’t feasible in the winter.”

He added: “To cover the hurdles and chase track with fleece, you’re talking the guts of three miles. Add to that the man power to put them down and lift off, you’re talking about £5,000 or £6,000 spent.

“It’s the risk you take. It’s worked on other times and this time it hasn’t.

“We’re here to race and tried to give it every chance. Unfortunately today, nature has just beat us.”

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