All three meetings abandoned as Storm Ciara rages

High winds and rain wipe out Sunday’s fixtures.

  • Sunday 09 February
  • News
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Storm Ciara has forced the abandonment of all three of Sunday’s meetings in Britain and Ireland.

Exeter was first to be called off, shortly before a scheduled 8am inspection, and then Southwell’s all-weather meeting and Punchestown’s Grand National Trial card followed around an hour later.

Gales, forecast to continue throughout the day, put paid to Exeter and also Southwell.

At Punchestown, it was initially hoped the high-profile fixture would survive – but after almost 30mm of further rain on Sunday morning, it was cancelled too.

A Tweet from Exeter before 8am confirmed racing would not take place.

It read: “Unfortunately Racing today has been Abandoned. Wind speeds have reached unacceptable mph gusts this morning, and our localised forecast predict this to continue for the remainder of today, affecting our racing operation, public safety and grandstand areas.”

Southwell and Punchestown then fell in quick succession.

The Irish track tweeted: “Following a further 27mm since 8am racing is now cancelled.”

That amounted to 53mm since the previous evening, and the volume of rain created flash flooding and waterlogging at the track – with original entries standing.

But Punchestown announced later on Sunday morning that the fixture has already been re-scheduled for Tuesday – with original entries standing.

Racing will not take place at waterlogged Lingfield on Tuesday, however, after that course failed a Sunday inspection.

Gales were the problem at Southwell, who tweeted: “Racing is ABANDONED this afternoon due to high winds. Equine and human welfare is of paramount importance and unfortunately the weather has beaten us today.”

Plumpton has announced a precautionary race-day inspection at 8am for the card there on Monday.

Winds are expected to ease before then. But up to 20mm of rain is forecast on ground already described as heavy, soft in places.

Catterick’s card has already been called off though, with flooded stables forcing the cancellation.

The track tweeted: “Regrettably due to the river Swale bursting its banks and flooding the stables, racing for tomorrow has had to be abandoned.”

All three meetings abandoned as Storm Ciara rages
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