Tag Archive for: Weather

Leopardstown and Carlisle pass morning inspections

Leopardstown’s Classic trials card will go ahead as planned after the track passed a 7.30am inspection.

The P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes is one of the highlights having produced several top-class performers over the years, including three subsequent Epsom winners in Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002) and Harzand (2016).

Two other Group Three events in the Ballylinch Stud “Red Rocks” Stakes and the Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” Stakes also take place on ground described as heavy.

Clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer said: “The track at Leopardstown is fit for racing and the fixture scheduled for today goes ahead.

“The ground remains heavy but we had no measurable rain at the track in the last 24 hours and some strong winds. Today looks to be mainly sunny and breezy.”

The track at Carlisle also passed a 7am inspection allowing the final day of the Go North Series Finals to go take place, although conditions are heavy.

Tuesday’s meeting at Hexham has been called off though, with areas of false ground and standing water on the course.

Early inspections at Leopardstown and Carlisle

Leopardstown’s high-profile meeting on Sunday, due to feature a recognised Derby trial in the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes, will have to pass a 7.30am inspection if it is to go ahead.

The Group Three contest has thrown up several top-class performers over the years, including three subsequent Epsom winners in Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002) and Harzand (2016).

Leopardstown is also due to stage two other Group Three events in the Ballylinch Stud “Red Rocks” Stakes and the Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” Stakes, but the prospect of further rain falling on already heavy ground has prompted IHRB clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer to call a morning check.

He said: “Following three millimetres of rain since declarations, the track at Leopardstown is heavy and fit for racing at present.

“According to Met Eireann, there is the potential for a further three to five millimetres of rain throughout today into tomorrow, as well as the high winds associated with Storm Kathleen today.

“Due to the current adverse weather conditions, we will have a 7.30am inspection on Sunday morning to assess the situation.”

Downpatrick’s meeting on Sunday has already been cancelled, while officials at Carlisle have announced a precautionary inspection for 7am ahead of the scheduled final day of the Go North Series Finals.

Saturday’s meeting at Uttoxeter was given the go-ahead following a morning check, but racing at the Curragh was called off due to waterlogging.

Tuesday’s Flat meeting at Navan has been called off, while Hexham’s jumps card on the same day also looks in serious doubt, with officials calling an inspection for 7.30am on Sunday.

Looking even further ahead, officials at Leicester have announced an inspection for 8am on Tuesday ahead of the track’s scheduled fixture on Friday, with the course currently waterlogged and unraceable.

Uttoxeter meeting given the go-ahead

This afternoon’s National Hunt meeting at Uttoxeter will go ahead as scheduled after the track passed a morning inspection, but racing at the Curragh has been abandoned.

Hopes of any turf racing taking place in Britain on Saturday hinged a second precautionary check at Uttoxeter at 7.30am. An initial inspection was staged at 2pm on Friday and while there was standing water in some areas, the track was described as raceable.

Officials announced a further precautionary inspection for raceday morning and were able to give the fixture the go-ahead.

The news was not so good in Ireland, with a Curragh card due to feature the Group Three Tote.ie Alleged Stakes abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Brendan Sheridan, the IHRB clerk of the course at the Curragh, said: “Following a further four millimetres of rain in the last 24 hours, unfortunately we have to cancel the fixture scheduled at the Curragh today as parts of the track are just not fit for racing.”

The disruption could continue on Sunday, with meetings at Carlisle and Downpatrick subject to morning inspections at 7am and 7.30am respectively.

Tuesday’s Flat meeting at Navan has already been cancelled, while Hexham’s jumps card on the same day also looks in serious doubt, with officials calling an inspection for 7.30am on Sunday.

Looking even further ahead, officials at Leicester have announced an inspection for 8am on Tuesday ahead of the track’s scheduled fixture on Friday, with the course currently waterlogged and unraceable.

Wetherby abandoned and more inspections scheduled

Disruption to the fixture list looks set to continue into the weekend after Wetherby’s meeting on Friday became the latest to fall due to a waterlogged track.

With no sign of the current wet spell coming to an end, Southwell flew the flag for jumps racing in Britain on Thursday, with meetings at Warwick and at Clonmel in Ireland both called off.

Officials at Wetherby called an inspection for 3pm on Thursday ahead of Friday’s card and made the decision to draw stumps shortly after.

A statement on the track’s website read: “There has been insufficient improvement during the last 24 hours and the ground remains waterlogged, with false ground in several areas. A further 12-15 millimetres of rain is expected overnight Thursday into Friday morning.”

Fontwell’s Friday fixture is also under threat, with a precautionary check called for 7.30am, while Saturday’s Premier Raceday at Kelso is already in doubt.

The Borders track is due to host a high-profile card, part of which is set to be shown live on ITV, but the ground is described as heavy, waterlogged in places and an inspection will take place at 8am on Friday to assess the latest state of play.

Officials at Uttoxeter will inspection at 2pm on Friday ahead of the track’s meeting the following day, while Chelmsford’s meeting scheduled for Saturday evening has been moved to an earlier start, from 5.25pm to 2.50pm.

A statement from the British Horseracing Authority read: “In light of the current forecast for Saturday April 6, the BHA has agreed to move Chelmsford City’s fixture to a 2.50 start and rearranged the running order.

“This is in order to ensure an appropriate level of racing content for our customers on Saturday afternoon and offer potential ITV coverage to the Woodford Reserve Cardinal Conditions Stakes at 3.30 should other fixtures on Saturday be abandoned.”

Waterlogging causes Warwick abandonment

This afternoon’s National Hunt meeting at Warwick has become the latest victim of the current wet spell, with course officials left with no option but to abandon the fixture due to a waterlogged track.

While persistent rain continues to play havoc with the racing programme, no inspection was planned at Warwick, with only minimal rainfall forecast overnight.

However, the track posted on X on Thursday morning: “Following 16 millimetres of rainfall overnight and into this morning, which is a significant change from the three millimetres initially forecast, the track is now waterlogged and therefore unraceable.

“All tickets will automatically be refunded.”

Southwell’s Thursday card is set to go ahead as scheduled after the course passed a precautionary check at 7.30am, but racing at Clonmel in Ireland has been called off.

Further disruption looks likely heading into the weekend, with Friday’s meeting at Wetherby subject to a 3pm inspection this afternoon and Saturday’s Premier Raceday at Kelso also under threat.

The Borders track is due to host a high-profile card, part of which is set to be shown live on ITV, but the ground is currently heavy, waterlogged in places and an inspection will take place at 8am on Friday to assess the latest state of play.

Chelmsford’s meeting scheduled for Saturday evening has been moved to an earlier start, from 5.25 to 2.50.

A statement from the British Horseracing Authority read: “In light of the current forecast for Saturday April 6, the BHA has agreed to move Chelmsford City’s fixture to a 2.50 start and rearranged the running order.

“This is in order to ensure an appropriate level of racing content for our customers on Saturday afternoon and offer potential ITV coverage to the Woodford Reserve Cardinal Conditions Stakes at 3.30 should other fixtures on Saturday be abandoned.”

Waterlogging claims Redcar action

Monday’s fixture at Redcar has been called off due to a waterlogged track.

The venue was due to stage a seven-race card but significant rain overnight left clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson with no option but to abandon.

He said: “The forecast changed yesterday afternoon and while we were expecting rain, it changed from a couple of millimetres to a significant amount overnight.

“We’ve had seven millimetres since 1am and it is still raining now with probably another 7mm forecast.

“It’s just been so wet all winter that it’s taken relatively little rain to push us over.”

Wednesday’s card at Nottingham, which was due to feature the Listed Further Flight Stakes, has also been called off.

Officials inspected the track at 8am on Monday but parts of the course remain unraceable following further overnight rain, with little prospect of sufficient improvement ahead of racing.

Leicester and Ffos Las fail to beat the weather

Leicester’s meeting on Thursday and Friday’s fixture at Ffos Las have both been called off due to waterlogged tracks.

An inspection was called for 4.15pm on Wednesday at Leicester but areas of false ground left officials with no option.

Ffos Las officials were able to make their decision even earlier. An inspection was held on Wednesday morning and after heavy rain, the venue was not fit for action.

The track said on X: “Due to 70 millimetres of rain in the last seven days and with further rain forecast, racing on Friday 16th February has been abandoned.”

Thursday’s fixture at Newcastle must also survive an 8am inspection. The going is heavy and further rain is forecast overnight, while Clonmel’s meeting is also in doubt.

Clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer will inspect at 7.30am with overnight rain forecast on already heavy ground.

Waterlogging claims Ffos Las card

Friday’s meeting at Ffos Las has been called off due to a waterlogged track.

Officials inspected the course on Wednesday morning and after heavy rain, the venue is not fit for action.

The track tweeted: “Due to 70 millimetres of rain in the last seven days and with further rain forecast, racing on Friday 16th February has been abandoned.”

Thursday’s fixtures at Newcastle and Leicester are also subject to inspections.

Newcastle will check conditions at 8am on raceday, with the course reported to be heavy with further rain expected, while Leicester inspect at 4.15pm on Wednesday with areas of waterlogging reported.

Wednesday’s meeting at Fontwell did get the go-ahead following an 8am inspection.

Heavy going at Newbury but ‘track is in very good condition’

Testing conditions will be the order of the day at Newbury on Saturday but no problems are anticipated if the forecast proves correct.

While more rain has fallen at the Berkshire track than was expected earlier in the week, no inspection is currently planned.

“We’ve had 45 millimetres this week, which is more than we were anticipating on Monday ahead of entries,” clerk of the course George Hill told Sky Sports Racing.

“We were expecting 25-35mm in total after entries but we’ve had more and we’ve seen a few tracks caught out already, but luckily we’re OK as we stand at the moment.

“The going is heavy, soft in places at the moment. We’re expecting 2-7mm, the forecasters are saying, but the heaviest of that will be this afternoon, so we’ll monitor that. It is due to finish by 5pm, so fingers crossed we only get what is forecast and we don’t end up with more, as we’re looking forward to tomorrow.

“I don’t think it will have a chance to get holding or tacky, I think it will ride as described or a little better, given we could have a dry 18 hours.

“The track is in very good condition, we’ve got fresh ground on both tracks and we vertidrained the track last week, which helped us out massively ahead of this heavy rain.

“Obviously, the Betfair Hurdle has filled for the first time in four years, which is fantastic, it’s great to have the Willie Mullins horses, they arrived in the early hours of the morning safe and sound.”

Unfortunately, Saturday’s meeting at Warwick has been called off due to a waterlogged track.

The fixture was due to feature both the Grade Two Kingmaker Novices’ Chase and the Listed Warwick Mares’ Hurdle, in which Cheltenham candidate You Wear It Well was set to run.

However, a total of 36mm of rain fell at the track on Thursday, leaving the course unfit for action.

Clerk of the course Tom Ryall said: “We had 36mm in total yesterday, it started about 4am and carried on through to midnight.

“When we came in this morning, parts of the back straight where it runs parallel with Gog Brook are waterlogged, as that was put on red alert last night, while the owners and trainers car park has flooded and that has spilled onto the track.

“We are basically about 50 per cent under water, so there is really no hope of racing.”

Uttoxeter were also due to race on Saturday, but that fixture has been abandoned.

The course is waterlogged, with further rain forecast.

Friday’s meeting at Kempton got the go-ahead after a morning inspection, while the other scheduled jumps fixture at Bangor was called off on Thursday afternoon.

Waterlogging claims Saturday’s Warwick card

Saturday’s meeting at Warwick has been called off due to a waterlogged track.

The fixture was due to feature both the Grade Two Kingmaker Novices’ Chase and the Listed Warwick Mares’ Hurdle, in which Cheltenham candidate You Wear It Well was due to run.

However, a total of 36 millimetres of rain fell at the track on Thursday, leaving the course unfit for action.

Clerk of the course Tom Ryall said: “We had 36mm in total yesterday, it started about 4am and carried on through to midnight.

“When we came in this morning, parts of the back straight where it runs parallel with Gog Brook are waterlogged as that was put on red alert last night, while the owners and trainers car park has flooded and that has spilled on to the track.

“We are basically about 50 per cent under water, so there is really no hope of racing.”

Uttoxeter were also due to race on Saturday, but that fixture has been abandoned.

The course is waterlogged with further rain forecast.

Friday’s meeting at Kempton got the go-ahead after a morning inspection, although an area of the track is riding heavy, while the other scheduled jumps fixture at Bangor was called off on Thursday afternoon.

Lingfield expected to be given the all-clear for Sunday action

The final day of Lingfield’s Winter Million Festival on Sunday is expected to go ahead as planned, although it will be subject to an 8am precautionary inspection on raceday.

The three-day fixture was due to begin with a jumps card on Friday, but a frozen track saw that cancelled. Saturday’s middle day on the all-weather had no issues.

With temperatures rising ahead of Sunday’s National Hunt action, a 2pm inspection was called on Saturday to assess any progress in the condition of the ground, a check which showed conditions had improved significantly.

Charlie Moore, head of clerking at Arena Racing Company, told ITV Racing: “We’ve had difficulty with the forecast this week, it’s been four degrees wrong on two nights. It’s amazing this track has taken minus 8C and minus 7C in the last two nights.

“If we had to race today, we could make this track raceable with some track adjustments. We’re going to pass the inspection, but we are going to put in a precautionary inspection at 8am tomorrow purely because we are aware at around 10/11 o’clock tonight it could get down to just touching freezing.

“If that was wrong and it was minus 2C we could have a moment of sweat in the morning, but if we get what is forecast we’ll be texting everyone around seven o’clock in the morning saying ‘we’re on’.

“I will be very surprised and hugely disappointed if racing did not take place tomorrow.”

The ground is reported to be good to soft, soft in places, but it was not such good news for Fakenham’s Sunday card, as officials were forced to abandon due to a frozen track.

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.”

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.”

Clarence House Chase meeting falls victim to the weather

Saturday’s BetMGM Clarence House Chase fixture at Ascot has been abandoned due to a frozen track.

The Berkshire circuit was due to host a seven-race card, with the Grade One feature set to stage a mouthwatering rematch between old foes El Fabiolo and Jonbon.

However, a third clash between the pair will not take place this weekend, with the track deemed unraceable following a 4pm inspection on Thursday and further freezing temperatures forecast.

A statement from Ascot posted on X, formerly Twitter, read: “The BetMGM Clarence House Chase Raceday has been abandoned.

“Temperatures dropped to minus 6C overnight into Thursday and the track is still frozen in places at 4pm under the covers.

“Given the forecast remains for sub-zero temperatures over the next two nights there is no prospect of improvement before raceday on Saturday.”

The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed it is in discussions with relevant stakeholders on the options for the potential rescheduling of races lost this weekend, among them the Clarence House.

Last year the race was saved and switched to Cheltenham’s Trials day the following weekend, and Nicky Henderson has said he intends to run Jonbon there should that be the case again.

Speaking to Sky Sports Racing, the Seven Barrows trainer said: “Last year the Clarence House was moved to Cheltenham and I think it would be very nice if it did (again). If it did, I’m pretty sure we would (run), as long as they don’t desecrate the prize-money.

“I’d quite like Jonbon to go to Cheltenham to be honest with you, as he’s actually only been beaten twice in his life, once was in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham by Constitution Hill and then by El Fabiolo last year in the Arkle.

“That does not in any way indicate to me that he doesn’t like Cheltenham, but it would be nice to get a win behind him round there just to prove he’s as good a horse around Cheltenham – which I’m sure he is – as he is anywhere else. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to go there.”

An inspection has also been called ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Haydock, with officials set to check on conditions at 8am on Friday.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright admits the card, which is headlined by the Sky Bet Peter Marsh Chase, needs a “miracle” if it is to go ahead.

“We’ve not had a great day and the frost hasn’t even got off the running rail, so we are not looking great,” Tellwright said on Thursday afternoon.

“We will wait to see if the thaw starts early but there is no indication of it, so I think we will be put out of our misery in the morning.

“We just need to pray there is a miracle and the thaw starts in time.”

Friday’s meeting at Market Rasen was called off following a noon inspection, with the track frozen after temperatures dropped to minus 8C overnight.

Taunton’s meeting on Saturday is subject to an inspection at noon on Friday.

Ascot card faces Thursday afternoon inspection

Saturday’s BetMGM Clarence House Chase fixture at Ascot is already in major doubt after an inspection was called for 4pm this afternoon.

The Berkshire circuit is due to host a seven-race card, with the Grade One feature set to stage a mouthwatering rematch between old foes El Fabiolo and Jonbon after the top-class pair were both declared as part of a four-runner field on Thursday morning.

However, it appears increasingly unlikely the clash will take place this weekend after temperatures dipped even lower than forecast on Wednesday night.

“We were expecting to get down to minus 4C last night, but we actually got down to minus 6C,” said clerk of the course Chris Stickels.

“It’s still colder than minus 2C now here and the forecast for tonight is for temperatures to get down to minus 4C.

“The course is frozen under the covers and with the forecast we’ve got, I would imagine we’re going to be unable to race. There’s nothing at this stage that gives me confidence.”

An inspection has also been called ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Haydock, with officials set to check on conditions at 8am on Friday.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright admits it is a “long shot” the card, which features the Sky Bet Peter Marsh Chase, will take place, but given a rise in temperatures is forecast on Friday, he will wait a little longer before making a final decision.

He said: “It’s a long shot but we have got one eye on this thaw.

“We will probably fail to race, but we think it’s worth running with it a little bit longer in case that thaw comes a bit earlier than expected.

“We got to minus 7C last night so the majority of the track is frozen, including some areas under the covers, so we have a steep gradient to climb.”

Friday’s meeting at Market Rasen was called off following a noon inspection, with the track frozen after temperatures dropped to minus 8C overnight.

Haydock call Friday inspection for Peter Marsh card

Saturday’s meeting at Haydock will have to pass an 8am inspection on Friday if it is to go ahead.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright admits it is a “long shot” the card, which features the Sky Bet Peter Marsh Chase, will take place, but given a rise in temperatures is forecast on Friday, he will wait a little longer before making a final decision.

He said: “It’s a long shot but we have got one eye on this thaw.

“We will probably fail to race, but we think it’s worth running with it a little bit longer in case that thaw comes a bit earlier than expected.

“We got to minus 7C last night so the majority of the track is frozen, including some areas under the covers, so we have a steep gradient to climb.”