Saturday's racing in Britain wiped out as Lingfield and Chelmsford forced to abandon after temperatures drop to -9C | The Sun

Saturday's racing in Britain wiped out as Lingfield and Chelmsford forced to abandon after temperatures drop to -9C | The Sun

RACING in Britain on Saturday has been wiped out by the freezing weather.

Lingfield and Chelmsford were due to stage all-weather meetings – but both tracks were severely impacted by frost.

Lingfield failed a 9.30am inspection after temperatures plummeted to -9C, while Chelmsford canned their card having had a look an hour later.

Today's scheduled jumps meetings at Ascot, Haydock, Newcastle and Fairyhouse were abandoned earlier in the week.

When Lingfield initially inspected at 7.30am, there was still "a frozen area around the edge of the racing line" according to clerk of the course George Hill.

He checked again with a team of officials two hours later but conditions had not improved enough to give the card the go-ahead.

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Eight races were due to be shown live on ITV4 on Saturday afternoon, including the Listed Quebec Stakes and Winter Oaks Trial from Lingfield.

Hill said: "It's disappointing to lose the fixture. The temperature just didn't rise quickly enough and it's frustrating because it's just one isolated area of the track – the rest of the course is fine.

"We've tried everything. We've had marquee blowers on it for hours this morning underneath fleece.

"We've tried to work it but it's cold. The weather station puts us at 4.7C at the moment and we dipped down to -8.9C this morning.

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"The problem we're having is there are little frozen lumps, which I don't believe – with the slow rise in temperatures – are going to thaw enough to make it safe from kickback for the horses and jockeys, which is what it's about.

"It's gutting. Apologies to everyone who is affected, for wasted journeys or wasted time.

"We have to give it every chance and the team have worked tirelessly, and I'd like to thank them for the all the hard work they have put in.

"We've beat the weather in some cases on Monday and Wednesday but unfortunately, a couple of -8Cs in a row eventually takes its toll."

Mercifully, temperatures are due to beginning rising again across the country on Sunday.

It will come too late to save the jumps card at Fakenham, which has already been called off, but the fixtures at Wolverhampton, Navan and Thurles should go ahead.

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