Newbury’s Friday card goes ahead but inspection called for Saturday

Friday’s meeting at Newbury will go ahead as planned, but a precautionary inspection has already been called ahead of Saturday’s Coral Gold Cup card.

The opening afternoon features two Grade Two contests, the Long Distance Hurdle and John Francome Novices’ Chase, and following a morning inspection, the venue is fit for action with the going described as good to soft, good in places on the chase course and good to soft on the hurdles track.

Covers were put down earlier in the week and they will be reapplied at the end of Friday’s card ahead of overnight temperatures which could dip as low as minus 4C overnight.

With another cold day forecast on Saturday, clerk of the course George Hill has called a 7.30am check to assess conditions.

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An inspection will also take place at Newcastle on Friday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

Champion Hurdle hero Constitution Hill is set to make his seasonal bow in the Grade One feature, with fellow Nicky Henderson inmate Shishkin starring in the line up for the supporting Rehearsal Chase.

Covers were also deployed at Gosforth Park, but a precautionary inspection has been called for 2.30pm on Friday, with the track reported to be raceable despite just over a centimetre of snow.

Fairyhouse is due to stage a classy two-day fixture on Saturday and Sunday, although the opening card is subject to a 7.30am inspection.

Sunday’s meetings at Leicester and Carlisle will have to pass 11.30am and 12pm checks respectively on Saturday, with Carlisle currently unraceable due to frozen patches of ground.

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