Frost fears for Saturday cards in UK

All three of tomorrow’s National Hunt meetings in the UK are subject to early-morning inspections, although today’s meeting at Bangor has managed to beat the frost.

Officials at Ayr were not so lucky as freezing overnight temperatures forced them to cancel this afternoon’s card following a 6.45am inspection.

Clerk of the course Anthea Morshead said: “When we inspected it was minus five degrees and the forecast was for it drop to as low as minus seven at daybreak.

“Parts of the course are like concrete and there was no way no we could race.”

Despite growing optimism Saturday’s meeting will be given the all-clear, Morshead has still called a 6.45am precautionary inspection.

“If the forecast is accurate then we should be OK,” she said.

“And if there is any frost tomorrow, then it should be minimal.”

Saturday’s totesport Trophy meeting at Newbury is also “in the balance” due to frost.

An inspection has been called for 7.30am after the temperature got down to minus three degrees last night.

The track was not raceable at 9.30am this morning but officials are banking on daytime temperatures rising sufficiently to allow the big meeting to go ahead.

“At the moment we would not be able to race but temperatures today are going up to six degrees and it’s in the balance,” said clerk of the course Richard Osgood.

“We are told the frost should come out of the ground today with those temperatures.

“It’s a lovely, bright sunny morning and temperatures are getting up.

“What we are looking at tonight is minus three to four but by 3am in the morning, it’s going to start rising.

“By 9am it will be zero, with temperatures rising again during the morning.

“The frost should come out of the ground and temperatures are on the rise quite fast.

“I think late morning be should be OK.”

Warwick clerk of the course Fiona Needham is “hopeful” their meeting will be given the go-ahead – despite calling a 7.30am inspection.

With overnight temperatures set to fall below freezing, Needham is still confident the six-race card, which features the Grade Two Blue Square Kingmaker Novices’ Chase, will be passed fit in the morning.

“We had our first night of frost last night and temperatures went to about minus three,” she said.

“It’s gloriously sunny now, however, which will be important ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

“We are set to go to around minus two overnight but there is milder air moving in so I’m hopeful we’ll be OK.”

Friday’s meeting at Bangor managed to survive the cold weather with clerk of the course Ed Gretton passing the track fit for racing following a noon inspection.

“I would say that we going to be raceable before racing is due to start,” he said.

“The frost has come out of the ground and we are happy the course is fit for racing – the sun has done its job.”

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