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lingfield park 2 feb 09

Lingfield: temperatures could be between -3C and -5C on Tuesday night

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

Lingfield fixture threatened by snow

LINGFIELD'S all-weather meeting on Wednesday is subject to a 6.30am inspection on the day of racing.

Temperatures are due to get down to between -3C and -5C on Tuesday night and, with the threat of heavy snow, which is also forecast for Wednesday, officials have decided to inspect.

Clerk of the course, Neil Mackenzie Ross, is keeping a close eye on the forecast, and said on Tuesday afternoon: "Heavy snow was forecast to be to the west of us, but, from nine o'clock this evening to the close of play tomorrow, we will probably get some snow."

Mackenzie Ross addedthat while the staff at the course will be doing all they can to make sure racing goes ahead, heavy snowfall will affect the surrounding areas and could make getting to the track difficult.

He said: "We will come in and ascertain the situation, but it's not just the track, there's a lot of site to clear and we need to make it safe for horses and people.

"We managed to get the meeting on on December 19th when snow fell the day before, but we had a day and a half to clear it. If an inch or two falls we should be okay, but if a foot falls it would be getting impossible as we would only have five hours from daylight to the first race."

With Lingfield due to stage three more all-weather fixtures in the next week, Mackenzie Ross and his staff face a busy period, and the forecast for the coming days offers little respite.

He added: "We're forecast very cold temperatures, and at the moment there are snow showers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If we have a lot of snow and then it freezes on top it will be difficult to clear, but we will do our utmost to be raceable but it also depends on whether the necessary people, not just the horses and trainers, can get to the track."

Kempton's all-weather card will also have to survive an inspection on Wednesday (8am), and, with the fixtures at Hexham and Southwell already abandoned, as well as no meeting planned in Ireland, there is a possibility of a blank day.

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