Chepstow taking Welsh National precautions with frost covers

Officials at Chepstow are taking early precautions ahead of Saturday’s rearranged Coral Welsh National meeting by deploying frost covers.

Having lost the meeting on December 27 through waterlogging, the current cold snap is now a cause for concern.

Clerk of the course Libby O’Flaherty said on Sunday afternoon: “Tomorrow (Monday) is quite a warmish day with temperatures of 3C or 4C.

“As the week goes on, Wednesday and Thursday we only have highs of 2C and Wednesday is the coldest night at -3C.

“Wintry showers are possible on Thursday, but they are hit and miss. Friday into Saturday we are forecast -1C or -2C which is why we are putting the covers down now while we are raceable.

“We hadn’t had a frost overnight last night so by getting the covers down now we’re hoping to be fine.”

The cold snap is threatening to play further havoc with upcoming fixtures as Ludlow’s card on Tuesday and Ayr on Wednesday both face inspections.

Ludlow will inspect at 9am on Monday with parts of the track currently frozen. While the course was unraceable on Saturday there was some hope for warmer temperatures on Sunday and Monday.

Ayr’s meeting on Saturday was called off at the 11th hour due to a frozen track and due to another extremely cold night their meeting on Wednesday is already in doubt.

Temperatures dropped to -6C on Saturday evening and are not scheduled to get much above freezing for the next couple of days.

An inspection has been called for 7am on Monday but clerk of the course Graeme Anderson tweeted: “With below freezing forecast for next few days there is very little chance of improvement.”

Sunday’s meeting at Fairyhouse did, though, survive a morning inspection.

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