Haydock and Wincanton cards given green light

Saturday’s high-profile meetings at Haydock and Wincanton will go as scheduled after both tracks passed early-morning inspections.

With the effects of Storm Eunice leading to Friday fixtures at Fakenham, Lingfield and Southwell to be abandoned, there were fears Saturday’s programme could also be affected.

Haydock’s clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright announced an 8am precautionary check due to the threat of further rain on already heavy ground, but was able to give the card an early green light.

He said: “We’re good to go. We had a few rails down and there are things to sort out, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.

“We’re due to get some more rain later in the day, which may come as snow, but we’ll see what happens.”

Daniel Cooper, clerk of the course at Wincanton, had no option but to call a check for 7.30am, with damage to the site meaning the course was not fit to stage racing on Friday afternoon.

But with a clean-up operation getting underway early on Saturday morning, racing will go ahead.

“We’ve passed the inspection this morning. There is substantial damage, but thankfully it’s all repairable,” said Cooper.

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“We have increased teams on site to fix everything that’s broken.

“It’s a wet and miserable morning, but the winds are not as severe as yesterday so we’ll carry on.”

Haydock’s seven-race card includes the Rendlesham Hurdle and the Grand National Trial, while the feature event at Wincanton is the Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle.

Monday’s all-weather fixture at Chelmsford, which was only added to the calendar on Thursday after Lingfield was called off, was also abandoned on Saturday morning.

Clerk of the course Andy Waitt said: “Unfortunately we’ve had to abandon as we have extensive storm damage this morning.

“There is also some possible damage to the floodlight stanchions. We need to get those assessed and we won’t be able to do that until Monday.

“With further strong winds forecast for Sunday, it became a health and safety issue.”

Officials at Carlisle, where the ground is heavy, have called a precautionary inspection for midday on Sunday ahead of Monday’s meeting due to the forecast of further rain.

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