Frozen track claims Haydock card

Saturday’s Peter Marsh Chase card at Haydock has been called off due to a frozen track.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright had called an 8am inspection on Friday, but he was able to make an earlier decision after another cold night in Merseyside.

He said: “We got down to minus 3C overnight, so we were still going backwards last night. The track is frozen now and will still be frozen tomorrow afternoon.

“We’ve run out of time, we’ve got to the point where there’s no hope so we had to make a decision.”

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Ascot’s Clarence House Chase card has also been cancelled due to the cold weather, as has Taunton’s fixture, meaning there will be no British jumps action on Saturday.

Lingfield and Wolverhampton will race on the all weather on Saturday, with the first-named venue due to host jumps racing on Sunday as the third day of the Winter Million Festival.

The first day of National Hunt action was abandoned due to a frozen track and clerk of the course Stephanie Wethered has called a 2pm inspection for Saturday to measure progress in the anticipated thaw.

She said: “We saw lower than forecast temperatures overnight – we were forecast minus 4C but got down to a low of minus 8.69C and at 7.30am, we were still sitting at minus 8.5C.

“We are forecast highs of 4C today and then minus 3C overnight, followed by sunny spells and 6C tomorrow. The overnight temperature into Sunday is forecast to be 2C with some patchy rain.

“We’ve called an inspection for 2pm so we can assess the progress.”

The bumper eight-race Lingfield card is set to feature the Fitzdares Fleur De Lys Chase, with the Download The Racing App Lightning Novices’ Chase transferred from Friday’s cancelled card.

Fakenham are also scheduled to race over jumps on Sunday, with a 3pm inspection called on Saturday to evaluate their prospects.

Officials at Navan are “optimistic” Saturday’s jumps meeting will go ahead, despite calling a precautionary inspection for 7.30am.

Paddy Graffin, IHRB clerk of the course at Navan, said: “Following another cold night last night, with temperatures dropping to minus 3C, the track at Navan remains unfit for racing at the moment due to frost.

“Having spoken with Met Éireann, the forecast looks favourable with temperatures already rising and likely to remain from 5C to 6C overnight and into tomorrow. There is a possibility of light rain overnight.

“With that forecast, we are optimistic that racing will go ahead. However, due to the fact that we currently remain unfit for racing, we will have a precautionary inspection at 7.30am tomorrow to assess the situation.”

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