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McCoy faces longer wait

Tony McCoy is facing a nail-biting wait as the current cold snap continues to play havoc with National Hunt racing.

McCoy is chasing his 3,000th career success, but is stuck on 2,998 at present as his progress has been hindered by adverse weather over the last week.

He has four rides booked at Carlisle today, but that meeting hinges on the track passing an 8am inspection after a 3pm check yesterday proved inconclusive.

"We are raceable at the moment, but we have a minus three forecast for tonight," said clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch.

"We’ll have a look again at 8am tomorrow because the temperatures are supposed to drop pretty sharply.

"If the forecast is accurate, we’d be touch and go."

Ludlow were also due to stage jumps action, but that fixture was abandoned following an 8am inspection.

"We have got five and a half inches of snow on the track at the moment and there is further snow showers and frost forecast," said clerk of the course Bob Davies.

Yesterday’s card at Sedgefield was also lost as melted snow left the track waterlogged.

"We have had an amazing thaw overnight and there is virtually no snow on the track," said clerk of the course Charlie Moore.

"Unfortunately this has left us waterlogged and there are too many false areas of ground. This was always going to be the worry and it is disappointing."

Racing at Huntingdon on Thursday is already in some doubt.

"We had an inch of snow, but that has now thawed and the problem is frost," said clerk of the course Andrew Morris.

"We are forecast to get down to minus two and a half degrees tonight and another frost is forecast on Wednesday.

"It will only get to plus two or three and if the forecast is correct, we’ll be struggling."

There is better news for Taunton on Thursday though, with managing director John Hills confident the meeting will take place.

"At the moment our prospects are very good," he said.

"We had completely thawed by 2.30pm and we are not really forecast any frost.

"The only possible danger is a snow flurry on Thursday morning but I’d be extremely confident at this stage."

Prospects for Newbury’s valuable card on Saturday are now much more upbeat than was the case earlier in the week.

"I’m a lot more encouraged now than I was this morning," said clerk of the course Richard Osgood.

"Most of the snow has now melted from on top of the frost sheets.

It was forecast to get to minus two lasy night but the frost covers are now back doing their original job.

"Tomorrow night it will be hovering around zero but Friday night it will be a bit colder, minus two or three.

"The saving grace is that the temperatures on Saturday could be as high as four or five which will give us a chance."

Belfast Telegraph


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