Sandown racecourse covered in snow on Thursday morningPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Cheltenham to stage rearranged Tingle Creek
THE Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase has been moved to Cheltenham on Saturday week following the abandonment of the scheduled running at Sandown this weekend.
Saturday's Tingle Creek card was cancelled following a 3pm inspection on Thursday and officials moved quickly to make alternative arrangements for the feature race, which is sponsored by Keith Prowse Hospitality.
The 2m contest will now join the StanJames.com International Hurdle on a high-class Cheltenham card.
The big-race switch is the second in the space of seven days, following last week's addition of the Grade 1 Stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle to the Hennessy card at Newbury after racing was called off at Newcastle, the original venue.
Sandown was forced to abandon the Tingle Creek meeting after conditions deteriorated on Thursday. Although temperatures are forecast to rise to 2C-4C on Saturday, it was considered unlikely that the improvement would come soon enough to shift the volume of snow and ice on the racecourse.
Andrew Cooper, the clerk of the course, said: "We've got marginally worse here and we are expecting a sharp frost of around -5C or -6C on Thursday night, which would make it the coldest night of the period.
"We've been studying all the forecasts and consulting our own records and, with the meeting almost on top of us by the time it is due to get a little warmer, we believe that clearing the snow and ice is likely to be beyond us within the timescale."
As a result of the abandonment of Sandown and Wetherby on Saturday, Channel 4 will now screen seven live all-weather races, including four from Kempton (2.05, 2.40, 3.10, 3.40) and three from Southwell (2.25, 2.55, 3.25).
Sandown said its annual and jump members will be able to use their car labels and badges at Cheltenham on both days of the International meeting on December 10-11, as well as at Kempton on Lanzarote Hurdle day next month.
David Mackinnon, Sandown's managing director, said: "We are devastated to have abandoned the meeting, but we are delighted the Keith Prowse Hospitality Tingle Creek Chase has been rescheduled at Cheltenham.”
Find out what the prospects are for forthcoming fixtures in Britain and Ireland with our at-a-glance table