A 6AM inspection will determine prospects for today’s William Hill Lincoln meeting at Doncaster after the snow relented sufficiently for yesterday’s season-opening Flat meeting to go ahead on Town Moor.
“There is still some snow in the forecast. If it is looking unlikely we will be able to race at 6am, we can let people know and stop them travelling,” said clerk of the course Roderick Duncan.
If the meeting falls victim to the weather, it will be transferred to next Saturday with all pre-sold tickets still being valid.
Though no problems are anticipated on the all-weather at Southwell today, Newbury’s NH card must pass an inspection. Meetings planned for Bangor, Kelso and Stratford were all called off yesterday.
Tomorrow’s action takes place on the all-weather at Lingfield and at Wincantron, which must pass an inspection today.
It is a frustrating state of affairs summed up by Flat trainer George Baker on his blog. He is due to saddle Belgian Bill in the Lincoln, and Humidor in The Cammidge Trophy. “By some strange quirk of the Programme Book (the powers that be blaming Easter...), there is no turf flat racing after Doncaster for a week. A strange way to usher in a new season,” wrote Manton-based Baker.
“Easter? We have it every year, and every year we know some years in advance (if we so wish) when it will fall.
“So surely not beyond the wit of man to organise a more structured start to the turf season. Two days at Doncaster, and then nothing for a week does not make much sense.
“Probably more by luck than judgment, it is just as well that the betting shop fodder of all-weather dross will fill the gap. As Britain slips steadily into the North Sea, most turf tracks will be unraceable.”