Racing snagged by Baltic snap

Friday’s action at Kempton and Wolverhampton hinges on morning inspections - with Saturday’s Leopardstown card also under threat.

Friday’s action at Kempton and Wolverhampton hinges on morning inspections - with Saturday’s Leopardstown card also under threat.

As the current cold spell continues to bite, Bangor have already called off tomorrow’s meeting, while Kempton will check at 7.30am, despite covering the track.

Kempton clerk of the course Brian Clifford said: “We covered the entire course on Wednesday to protect from the frost that was forecast before the snow.

“We are perfectly raceable under the covers but we have about two inches of snow on top of them at the moment.

“We are forecast a frost tonight and we will obviously need to get the snow off the covers, but at least they will give us a chance.”

Wolverhampton clerk of the course Fergus Cameron will also take a precautionary look at 6.30am as snow is currently lying on the all-weather track.

He said: “We have called a precautionary inspection as we have two and a half inches of snow on the track.

“The actual track itself remains above freezing and we are expecting it to rise to plus four.

“We have minus two forecast tonight which is only a light frost.”

Bangor’s Ed Gretton was left with no choice but to call off their meeting after conducting a 3pm inspection.

He said: “We have had a succession of frosts, we were unraceable yesterday, and we have two inches of snow as well.

“The forecast is for minus three tonight and the soil temperatures aren’t due to rise too much tomorrow – they are due to be just above freezing.

“There seems no point in prolonging the decision.”

Officials at Leopardstown will take a precautionary look at 8am ahead of their star-studded fixture on Saturday, which features the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup.

Irish Turf Club press officer Cliff Noone said: “They have a light covering of snow at present and also had 19 millimetres of rain overnight.

“The ground is currently heavy so they just want to assess the situation in the morning to see where they stand.”

Newbury are hopeful of their totesport Trophy meeting going ahead the same day.

Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Kauto Star is due to have his final Festival prep run on the same card and clerk of the course Richard Osgood issued an upbeat bulletin.

He said: “We’re good to soft, soft in places at present. The forecast is for a frost overnight then tomorrow we have got sunny spells and periods of light rain at lunchtime, then rain into Saturday.

“It’s due to be between four and six degrees tomorrow with an overnight temperature of two or three and then six to seven degrees on Saturday.

“We had about four inches of snow but we only have about half an inch now so it’s looking good.”

Warwick clerk Fiona Needham is also optimistic about their prospects of racing.

She said: “We have got about an inch and a half of snow so we are obviously unraceable at the moment.

“We remain cautiously optimistic for Saturday. We are forecast a frost tonight but it’s not due to freeze tomorrow night and rain is supposed to be moving in.

“We haven’t covered the track, we have just covered the take-offs and landings.

“To be honest, snow is one of the best covers against frost that you can have.”

However, Ayr clerk of the course Katherine Self has called a 3pm inspection tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s meeting due to the threat of frost.

She said: “We went down to minus two last night and it has been as low as minus six earlier in the week.

“We are forecast minus four tonight on top of what we already have, hence we have called an inspection.

“We need a significant increase in the temperature so that the frost can come out of the ground.

“It’s not a promising forecast, but we will give it every chance.”

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