Wetherby the latest victim of big storm

Champ was due to run at Wetherby today after his New Year's Day fall at Cheltenham.
Champ was due to run at Wetherby today after his New Year's Day fall at Cheltenham.
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OFFICIALS at Wetherby have been forced to cancel tomorrow’s fixture as racing continues to be hit by Storm Ciara.

The meeting had been due to see the Nicky Henderson-trained Champ complete his preparations for next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

A leading contender for the RSA Chase, the JP McManus-owned and Barry Geraghty-ridden horse was a heavy faller at the penultimate fence in the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day – a race which was ultimately won by Midnight Shadow for the in-form Sue and Harvey Smith team.

With standing water still on the back straight at Wetherby after the weekend deluge, a racecourse official tweeted: “There has been no movement in the water sitting on the back straight and now there is not sufficient time for it to clear and the ground be safe for the participants.”

The decision comes after yesterday’s meeting at Catterick was called off after the stabling area became flooded.

Today’s meetings at Ayr and Lingfield are also weather casualties.

However an extra fixture will now take place at Exeter next Sunday – weather permitting – following pressure by a number of leading National Hunt trainers.

They called for last Sunday’s meeting at the Devon track, which was called off because of Storm Ciara’s high winds, to be rearranged so a number of key Cheltenham trials can be salvaged.