Weather hits English meetings hard

Wed 12th Dec 2012, 08:37
This afternoon's meetings at Leicester and Hexham have been abandoned due to a frozen track.

Leicester's clerk of the course Jimmy Stevenson inspected the course at 8am but found conditions to be unraceable with little chance of the necessary improvement.

He said: "We thought we might have a chance but the temperature has dropped to minus 3C with a potential high of minus 1C at lunchtime.

"The track's frozen in places and just not fit for racing."

Officials had planned to inspect the Hexham course at 8am but made an earlier call after temperatures remained below freezing for a prolonged period.

Clerk of the course James Armstrong tweeted: "@HexhamRaces has been ABANDONED due to frost. Been below freezing since 4pm Tues. (14hrs getting in) Today's temp only up to 1c @ best."

Huntingdon have been forced to abandon Thursday's meeting due to a frozen track.

The fixture was due to the feature the Peterborough Chase and despite putting covers down, the frost has still got into the ground.

Clerk of the course Sulekha Varma inspected the track at 8am and was forced to make an early call.

She said: "We hit minus 4C last night for the second night in a row and the air temperature didn't get above freezing yesterday and it's not due to today or tomorrow

"The frost has got under the covers in places and we just had to make the sensible call really as there's no prospect of it improving enough to race.

"We are all just utterly gutted as it (the Peterborough) looked like being such a good race."

Thursday's meeting at Ludlow has also been called off following an 8am inspection.

Clerk of the course Bob Davies reports the track to be frozen in places with little chance of a thaw before racing.

He said: "We have got frozen patches of ground. Where there's plenty of grass it's OK, but the bare patches of ground are not.

"We have a maximum of 0C today and then another frost tonight with another maximum of 0C tomorrow."

Remember Golantilla for Christmas

On the same afternoon as his stable companion, Wedding Present, a winning 'pointer' himself, finished third in a Cork bumper, Golantilla was marking himself down as a name to note for an upcoming National Hunt flat race. The Sean O'Brien-trained newcomer impressively took the Hickey Bros. Precast & Knockacool Gallops 4-y-o geldings' maiden at the Clonmult/Dungourney meeting at Avaune last Sunday.