Wetherby off as frost continues to bite

Prospects appear brighter at Sandown

  • Friday 01 February
  • News
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Wetherby’s Towton Chase card has fallen to the cold weather.

After an inspection at 8am on Friday morning, it was confirmed the current cold blast has claimed another card – the latest in a string of National Hunt fixtures abandoned this week.

Saturday’s meeting was to have staged the Grade Two feature William Hill Towton Novices’ Chase.

But shortly before 8.30am, an update from the West Yorkshire track reported overnight temperatures of between -4 and -1C, leaving it frozen and the fixture therefore abandoned.

The report added: “Dusting of snow as well. Forecast does not indicate sufficient rise in temperature to shift the frost out the ground.”

Prospects for Sandown’s Saturday card appear more encouraging after an optimistic bulletin on Twitter from clerk of the course Andrew Cooper.

Despite overnight snow on Thursday into Friday, no inspection is yet planned.

Cooper wrote: “2-3cm snow overnight ?@Sandownpark?. No frost in ground. Snow seems wet in nature and looks to be shifting. Will monitor improvement and update accordingly. No inspection currently planned for Friday.”

Sandown is due to stage the Grade One 888Sport Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase as well as the Listed Contenders Hurdle, in which dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air’s connections are hoping for a final prep run for next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival is currently expected to beat the cold snap on Saturday and Sunday – during which eight Grade One races are set to take place.

Racing is set to go ahead on the all-weather at Lingfield on Friday, after early confirmation of no problems.

A precautionary 8am inspection was scheduled because of a forecast for snow overnight.

There was snow between 10pm and 3am, but it was announced before 7am that Lingfield was fit to race.

Both Friday’s jumps fixtures, at Catterick and Chepstow, are already off after being abandoned on Thursday – meaning the cold weather has delivered a third successive blank day in the National Hunt calendar.

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