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Frantic efforts by officials at Pontefract today proved fruitless as the track became the first to lose a meeting as a result of the current fuel crisis in Britain.

Tomorrow`s fixture at the track was scrapped early this afternoon when it became evident that it would not be possible to provide ambulance cover.

'The Ambulance Service have confirmed that due to the current shortage of fuel - which has worsened since yesterday - they will not be able to provide the ambulances required under the Jockey Club General Instructions,' said clerk of the course Norman Gundill.

'Without these ambulances, racing cannot take place.

'Enquiries were made as to whether ambulances could be provided from other sources but this did not prove possible.'

At present tomorrow`s other meetings - at Ayr and Yarmouth - are not in danger.

Ayr is due to begin its prestigious Western Meeting, highlighted by Saturday`s Ladbroke (Ayr) Gold Cup, tomorrow.

'At the moment it`s all systems go,' said clerk of the course Richard Pridham. 'Every support service has said it can accommodate us although the situation is being monitored all the time.

'I haven`t heard of any trainers who can`t get their runners here, so it`s all set for an excellent meeting now.

'The only drawback is that crowd-wise we`re bound to be affected. Some people will not attempt to make the journey if they can`t be sure of having enough fuel to get home again.'