Racing is bracing itself for a battering from Storm Eunice, which is set to hit most of the United Kingdom on Friday.
It is expected to cause more widespread damage than Storm Dudley, which blew its way through on Wednesday night.
The meeting at Fakenham was called off today due to the extreme nature of the weather warnings and the remaining Friday fixtures at Kelso, Lingfield and Southwell are subject to inspections. Snow, as well as high winds, could be an issue at Kelso, where a precautionary inspection has been called for 8am
“We’re only a yellow warning at the moment up here and we are getting nothing like the wind speeds down in England,” said clerk of the course Matthew Taylor.
“Our concern would be snow more than anything and access to the racecourse maybe and the surrounding areas on high ground if they got heavy snow. We are in a trickier situation than most because it literally is just the waiting game.
“The problem as well is that the forecast is changing by the hour. We were supposed to be getting 10 centimetres of snow and then this afternoon it’s changed back to rain so we don’t know exactly what we’re going to get.”
“We’ve got an 8am inspection so hopefully we can make the right call early.”
Officials will also assess the prospects for Lingfield’s all-weather meeting at 8am. The jumps meeting scheduled for Monday was abandoned due to a waterlogged course.
Southwell’s all-weather card is subject to a precautionary inspection at 10am due to an amber warning for wind with gusts of 60-70mph expected during the afternoon with rain likely.
Kirkland Tellwright, clerk of the course at Haydock, is hoping the storm has abated by the time their meeting, featuring the William Hill Grand National Trial, starts on Saturday.
“The main concern has been wind, which would be a problem on a raceday but shouldn’t be the day before. There will be a lot of damage to repair, no doubt,” he said.
“Saturday is expected to be blustery, gusts of wind and more rain. Having walked the course a couple of times today, I’m pretty optimistic we’ll get through.
“The hurdle course is heavy, soft in places, and is not in a bad place. The chase course is heavy, and very heavy in one or two places so we might be bypassing them. I’ve taken the second fence out in the back straight mainly as a precaution because it gives us more options in terms on how we get past that location.”