Kelso: holds best chance of upcoming jumps cards to beat cold weatherPICTURE: Jon Winter
Jumps racing looks set for spell on the sidelines
SCOTLAND looks to be the best bet for jumps fans to get their next fix - but it could be at Kelso on Friday rather than Musselburgh on Wednesday as initially expected.
After a severe overnight frost on Sunday, Musselburgh have called a 9am inspection for Tuesday - having been previously confident they could beat the weather.
Anthea Morshead, clerk of the course for Kelso and Musselburgh, said: "Musselburgh had a minus five frost last night and we are only zero right now so we are frozen at the moment.
"The forecast is minus three on Tuesday night, with milder air set to come in on Wednesday.
"We just need to see whether that is going to come soon enough and we are going to look in the morning to see whether it is completely hopeless or not."
However, Morshead was more optimistic of Kelso getting the green light. She added: "Prospects look good for Friday. There is a milder front moving in on Wednesday, and the low pressure will keep temperatures above freezing from Wednesday onwards. As long as the forecast remains correct we would be hopeful."
Milder weather could also aid Warwick, set to stage the Totesport.com Classic Chase on Saturday.
Clerk of the course Andrew Morris said: "We've had our most vulnerable areas covered since December 29, but there have been a run of brutal frosts since then, and the track is frozen in places. There is set to be a run of frosts until Thursday - but having seen the forecast this (Monday) morning, there is some slight encouragement as temperatures are set to rise after Thursday."
Despite some covers in place, Warwick will not receive the large scale protectors - used most recently to cover the whole course at Sandown.
In the more immediate future, the chances of jumps racing taking place look slim with a met office forecast offering no signs for optimism.
"It's going to remain very cold for the rest of the week, with temperatures across the country being below freezing each night up to Saturday," said a Met Office spokesperson.
No decision has yet been made as to where the Tolworth Hurdle - lost to the weather at Sandown - could be restaged, due to the ongoing conditions.