Sandown and Ayr fixtures given go-ahead

Saturday’s Betfair Imperial Cup meeting at Sandown was given the green light following a morning inspection.

Racing took place at the Esher venue on Tuesday, but persistent wintry showers since eased conditions significantly and clerk of the course Andrew Cooper admitted the track would have “struggled to race” on Thursday.

With further rain and freezing temperatures forecast, Cooper on Friday called an inspection for 8am on raceday morning – and while the mercury dipped to as low as minus 2.7C, racing was given the go-ahead.

There was further positive news from north of the border at Ayr.

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The Scottish circuit staged racing on Friday, but with frost forecast officials called a precautionary check for 8.30am.

However, temperatures did not even dip below freezing at Ayr, meaning the inspection was brought forward and racing will take place as scheduled.

Unfortunately a quality card at Navan, due to stage the Grade Two Webster Cup, was cancelled.

Brendan Sheridan, Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board clerk of the course, said: “Unfortunately the track remained unfit for racing and we had no option but to cancel the fixture.

“Snow remains on the track and there was frost overnight last night meaning that most areas are not fit for racing.”

With the course flooded, Wednesday’s meeting at Huntingdon is already in serious doubt, with an inspection called for 4pm on Sunday.

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