Cheltenham abandons New Year’s Day card

Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day meeting has been abandoned because of waterlogging.

An inspection was due to take place at the course at 830am on Wednesday – but shortly beforehand, a Tweet from Cheltenham’s official account reported that the scheduled card will not take place.

It read: “New Year’s Day Racing abandoned.

“Following 85mm of rainfall since last Wednesday, there are areas of waterlogged ground across the width of the course, and it is therefore not raceable.”

The seven-race card was due to feature the Grade Two Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle. That race has been rescheduled by the British Hoseracing Authority for Kempton on January 9. The Dipper Novices’ Chase has also been salvaged from the Cheltenham programme and will be run at Wincanton, also on January 9.

Other fixture changes by the BHA are the meeting at Ffos Las on January 6 being moved to January 7 to replace the cancelled programme at Chepstow. The Mares’ Handicap Hurdle from that day has been switched to the re-scheduled Coral Welsh Grand National card on January 9, making eight races in all.

An additional seven-race all-weather meeting has been announced for Wolverhampton on January 6 to replace the Ffos Las fixture that day.

Thursday’s meetings at Punchestown and Warwick are subject to precautionary checks at 8am and 9am respectively due to the threat of frost.

Saturday’s meeting at Hereford survived an initial inspection on Wednesday afternoon, with the course currently heavy but raceable. It faces a second precautionary check at 1pm on New Year’s Day, however, because of a forecast for overnight frost on Thursday.

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