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Master Of The Hall - Huntingdon 26.01.11

Huntingdon: forced to abandon Thursday's Peterborough Chase card

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Four meetings off after temperatures plummet

THE latest cold snap has taken its toll on Britain's racecourses with Wednesday's meetings at Hexham and Leicester, along with Thursday's action from Huntingdon and Ludlow, having to be cancelled due to frost.

All four meetings were subject to 8am inspections on Wednesday morning and one by one they fell victim to freezing temperatures.

At Hexham temperatures dipped to -2C overnight, while Leicester got down as low as -3C and, with no sign of improvement, racing was abandoned.

It was a similar story at Ludlow (-3C) and Huntingdon (-4C) and despite protective covers in place both tracks decided to make an early decision to cancel.

The news comes as a bitter blow to Huntingdon, due to stage the Grade 2 Betfred Peterborough Chase.

Clerk of the course Sulekha Varma said: "Gutted is an understatement. We've got down to -4C overnight and it was the same the previous night and the biggest problem is that temperatures aren't due to get to zero.

"The frost has got in under the sheets in places and there's no prospect of improvement."

On the prospects of the meeting or the feature race being rearranged, she added: "That is something that now needs to be discussed. We will just have to wait see but hopefully those discussions will be taking place."

Racing on Wednesday now comprises of three all-weather meetings from Dundalk, Kempton and Lingfield but jumps racing is due to return on Thursday, with no anticipated problems for the meeting at Taunton.

Later in the morning, Taunton tweeted: "Under the covers the course is currently raceable. If the forecast proves correct there should be no problems."

Cheltenham will inspect the cross-country course at 8am on Friday.

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