Exeter and Leicester called off as frost continues to bite

There will be no National Hunt racing in Britain on Tuesday after fixtures at both Exeter and Leicester were abandoned on Monday morning due to frost.

Officials at Leicester had planned to inspect at 3.30pm, but with the track frozen and no prospect of sufficient improvement, an early decision was made.

Clerk of the course Jimmy Stevenson said: “Unfortunately there has been little improvement.

“I was hoping last night for it not to be as cold – it wasn’t as cold as it has been considering it only went down to minus 3C last night when we have been getting minus 7C and minus 8C. But unfortunately that wasn’t enough to help us out and the frost is really set in the ground now.

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“It’s been in the ground now for about nine days and unfortunately the temperatures that are forecast aren’t going to help us.”  

It is a similar story at Exeter, where an inspection had been announced for 4pm. However, that was brought forward to 9am and officials had to draw stumps.

It is not only jumps fixtures which are being affected by the cold snap, with Monday’s all-weather meeting at Kempton abandoned due to freezing fog.

The Sunbury circuit came through a 12.30pm precautionary inspection on Sunday, but a further check was announced for raceday morning and clerk of the course Barney Clifford ultimately had no option but to call off proceedings.

He said: “It’s 8am, we’ve got freezing fog and it’s minus 5C.

“I had to wait to get the latest update from the Met Office and it’s not forecast to clear today. It might do by 3pm, but it’s worse now than it was 7.30am.

“Hopefully we should be fine for racing on Wednesday, but this looks set in for the day. Put it this way, if I was going skiing here today you wouldn’t see much!”

Wednesday’s meeting at Warwick is subject to an inspection at noon on Tuesday, with the current going described as frozen, soft in places.

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