Fate of the remaining meetings hinges on inspections

Newcastle is due to host an all-weather card for National Hunt horses, subject to the track passing an 8am inspection.
Newcastle is due to host an all-weather card for National Hunt horses, subject to the track passing an 8am inspection.
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ALL three of today’s all-weather meetings face 8am inspections to see if racing can go ahead.

Newcastle’s hastily arranged jumpers bumpers card has attracted some healthy fields and originally the meeting was in no danger.

However an inspection was announced yesterday afternoon with stand-in clerk of the course Paul Baker saying: “We’ve had very high winds which has caused a bit of snow drifting on to the track.

“We’ve got some nice horses coming, it will be good for the North to get some racing back on and good for the punters as well to see some competitive racing.

“It’s just the weather is challenging us somewhat at the moment. Hopefully by 8am when the course inspectors come and have a look we’ll be fine.”

Lingfield’s all-weather action has also been impacted by the cold weather, with yesterday’s card called off due to “frost and severe wind chill”.

Today’s fixture is due to feature the Listed Spring Cup while forecast snow means Chelmsford’s meeting tonight is in the balance.

Clerk of the course George Hill said: “It is only supposed to be light snow.

“My overriding concern is health and safety.”

With tomorrow’s jump meetings at Huntingdon and Kelso cancelled, Southwell hosts an all weather meeting.

The earliest turf action can resume is on Monday at Lingfield and Southwell, though much will depend on whether there’s a thaw and if the ground is raceable. The next scheduled meeting in Yorkshire is at Catterick on Wednesday.