Doncaster Racecourse abandons Saturday meeting due to snow

THERE will be no turf racing in Britain until Sunday at the earliest after Saturday's meeting at Doncaster was abandoned.

Racing at Doncaster has been abandoned on Saturday as well as Friday.
Racing at Doncaster has been abandoned on Saturday as well as Friday.

Friday’s meeting on Town Moor was cancelled on Wednesday, but clerk of the course Roderick Duncan was hoping for rain on Saturday.

However, those hopes have been dashed and Duncan officially called off the card following a noon inspection on Thursday.

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“Unfortunately the forecast is saying there’s no chance of rain now and we might possibly have snow until Monday,” said Duncan.

“There’s little chance of the Grimthorpe Chase being saved, but there’s a possibility the mares’ Listed hurdle could be moved to Hereford. Conversations with the British Horseracing Authority are ongoing.”

Duncan also looks after Southwell who are due to race on Friday and he said: “I’d be reasonably confident of racing going ahead. We’ve had horses galloping on the track for the previous two days.”

Saturday’s meeting at Newbury has also been abandoned.

After losing Friday’s card on Wednesday, officials at the track were due to inspect on Thursday afternoon, but clerk of the course Richard Osgood made an earlier call with no chance of the course being fit for action.

He said: “We now have snow on top of a frozen track and the temperatures are so low there will be no improvement.”

Leopardstown’s Sunday and Monday cards were also called off on Thursday morning.

The track tweeted: “Unfortunately racing at Leopardstown on Sunday and Monday has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions.”

Kelso’s feature meeting on Saturday had already been abandoned with Navan cancelled too.

Friday’s meeting at Chelmsford was also abandoned due to snow.

An inspection had been called for 1pm, but clerk of the course Andy Waitt made an early call with a further check planned for 1pm on Friday ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

“The forecast for Saturday is much better, but the issue we have on Friday is getting everybody here,” said Waitt. “We don’t don’t to put anyone in a position where they are struggling to get here. We’ll inspect at 1pm tomorrow for Saturday.”

Thursday’s meeting at Newcastle was another abandoned following further snow overnight.

The track tweeted: “Unfortunately due to overnight snow fall and snow drifting across parts of the track we have had to abandon today’s fixture.”

Kempton’s evening meeting, set to stage the “Road To The Kentucky Derby” Conditions Stakes, also succumbed to the snow.

Clerk of the course Barney Clifford said: “The snow has already started, earlier than forecast, and it is forecast for much of the day until 6pm.

“Even if we were able to make the course raceable, it is a question of everything else - the roads and facilities - being unsafe.

“It’s a decision taken in the interests of safety and there is a yellow weather warning over Kempton.

“The Kentucky race will now be rescheduled for next Wednesday.”

The snow has also forced officials at Lingfield to call a precautionary inspection for 8am on Friday ahead of the afternoon meeting.