Gloomy outlook for Sandown

Sandown's big meeting on Saturday, featuring the Tingle Creek Chase, is already under threat from the current cold spell.

Gloomy outlook for Sandown

Sandown's big meeting on Saturday, featuring the Tingle Creek Chase, is already under threat from the current cold spell.

Freezing temperatures have caused frost to get under certain parts of the track that have been covered since Wednesday.

Clerk on the course Andrew Cooper admits the forecast is not favourable ahead of the two-day fixture scheduled to start on Friday.

"The cold weather is clearly going to continue for at least the next seven days, it would appear, up to and including our meeting at the end of the week," said Cooper.

"Overnight on Saturday we experienced frost where we have had covers down since Wednesday.

"We certainly have got frost at present and this is the first day we would class ourselves as unraceable.

"It is generally accepted that about -4C is around the limit of the covers. In the shaded areas we hit -7C, the track as a whole was -5C.

"They have a limit at which they work and are effective and we went over that on Saturday night. That is obviously a concern.

"There is not a lot of encouragement you can glean from the week's outlook as a whole and it also carries an increased risk of seeing some snow which we have avoided so far.

"Tuesday and Thursday this week seem to have an increased risk of show showers.

"There is not a great deal more we can do. We'll just monitor things on a daily basis and take a big stock of things from midweek onwards."

Connections of Twist Magic will be hoping for an improvement in conditions.

The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old seeks a third success in the race and Sam Thomas has been booked for the ride.

"Sam's won on him and we were looking for someone who has ridden him before and he's riding well at the moment. Hopefully the meeting can go ahead," said co-owner Barry Fulton.

"Since he's had that first run of the season at Exeter he's come on for that and he's behaved himself impeccably at home for a change. We hope he will behave himself on the racecourse as well.

"He's still only quite young so he's at his peak, hopefully. We are quietly confident.

"He likes Sandown and it's horses for courses. You've got to be able to jump well there, especially down the back, as the fences come so quickly."

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