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Freeze casts doubt on Warwick Saturday card

WARWICK was reported to be frozen in places on Tuesday and, with temperatures only due for a slight increase later in the week,  the Tote Classic Chase card on Saturday is in doubt.

Clerk of the course Andrew Morris said on Tuesday: "We are due another two nights of frost and the forecast from Thursday afternoon onwards gives a slight rise in temperatures - but I would emphasise that at the moment it is only indicating it will be slight.

"We need temperatures to rise significantly from Thursday onwards to bring this frost out of the ground. It would be wrong of meto be optimistic at this stage."

Racing at Punchestown on Saturday depends on temperatures picking up closer to the time.

Director of racing Richie Galway said on Tuesday: "We wouldn't have raced here on Monday or today as the temperatures never picked up much during the day. Things are due to improve at the weekend.

"Met Eireann [Irish weather service] would suggest we should be able to race based on their forecast for the next few days but we'd want a good thaw, so we'll be keeping a close eye on things."

But no problems are expected for Sunday's Pierse Hurdle card at Leopardstown and course manager Tom Burke said: "We haven't had any frost here since the night of December 28. It is to remain cold for the next few days and from Friday we might see some rain, but of little consequence."

Andrew Tulloch also wants to see a thaw ahead of Sunday's meeting at Carlisle and said: "At the moment we are a bit doubtful. The course is frozen at the moment and it went down to -6C last night. There is an outside chance it will start improving bythe end of the week but we need it to improve by Thursday or Friday at the latest."

A decision on salvaging the Tolworth Hurdle, lost when Sandown was abandoned last Saturday, was put back until Wednesday due to the doubts over the weekend meetings.


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