Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Racing hit by big freeze

The big jumps meeting of the season at Naas is unlikely to take place in the next week after a flurry of snow left the track unraceable yesterday.

Arctic conditions returned with a vengeance on Saturday night to disrupt the racing programme and there was no racing yesterday on either side of the Irish Sea.

According to Naas manager Tom Ryan there is little hope of the cancelled meeting being rescheduled for the coming week.

The fixture — which was due to feature the Woodlands Park 100 Nas Na Riogh Chase, Paddypower.com Novice Hurdle and Paddypowerpoker.com Chase, all Grade Two contests — was called off after over an inch of snow hit the track overnight.

“The schedule is already fairly full for next week,” Ryan said yesterday.

Today's racing has already been hit with the loss of Market Rasen's jumps fixture due to frost and snow.

Although a slight thaw late yesterday morning offered a degree of optimism at the Lincolnshire venue, the situation was considered untenable following a mid-afternoon inspection.

Today's other National Hunt card at Carlisle will need to survive an 8am inspection if it is to go ahead.

Elsewhere, officials at Wolverhampton are to hold an inspection at the same time ahead of their afternoon meeting.

Though the Dunstall Park all-weather track was clear of snow yesterday, there is a risk of light snow showers early today.

No problems are envisaged at tomorrow's extra meeting scheduled for Lingfield. However, the jumps card at Southwell is under threat following four inches of snow yesterday.

Fairyhouse's double-header tomorrow and Wednesday is also under threat.

Irish Turf Club press officer Cliff Noone said: “The course was unfit for racing this morning as there was a covering of snow.

“They will be looking at the situation first thing in the morning.”

The situation at Thurles, where racing is set to take place on Thursday and Friday, is far better, though.

Racecourse manager Pierce Molony said: “We got a little bit of snow but it didn't lie, and although the temperatures went down to minus 5C on Saturday night, it was up to 8C by midday.

“There's some improvement in the weather expected from Wednesday for the Munster area at least, so fingers crossed.”

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