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Monday, 10 December, 2018

72 and counting: more meetings fall to weather as miserable year continues

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The disruptive weather, which has forced a whopping 68 meetings to be cancelled in Britain and Ireland already this year –including Wednesday's popular annual student raceday at Leopardstown – has claimed more victims with Warwick, Wexford and Wetherby calling off meetings across Thursday and Friday.

Tipperary's Flat meeting on Tuesday was also cancelled due to waterlogging and an adverse weather forecast. The card has been transferred to the all-weather at Dundalk, with some changes to race distances.

The loss of Warwick's Thursday card means for the fourth straight day there will be no turf racing in Britain.

Fontwell: hope to race on Friday
Hopes of turf racing returning on Friday rests with Fontwell, where the going was described as heavy on Wednesday, although the forecast is set to be dry in the lead-up to the meeting.

In light of the battered programme, the BHA announced an additional jumps fixture would take place at Fakenham on Saturday, with entries due by noon on Thursday and declarations on Friday.

Kelso and Uttoxeter are also set to race on Saturday and no inspections have been announced despite heavy conditions.

Leopardstown's student raceday had to be cancelled due to heavy rain, meaning there was no turf racing on Wednesday for Irish or British punters to get stuck into.

Leopardstown chief executive Pat Keogh said: "We hadn't planned an inspection but we got more rain than we were expecting and it came in a concentrated spell.

"It was most unfortunate, especially for all the students we were expecting from colleges all over the country. But having spoken to HRI it has been agreed to hold the meeting on April 16."

Navan now raceable

Conditions at Navan, where a Flat card is scheduled for Saturday, have improved. The ground is heavy but having been unraceable on Tuesday the track was described as raceable on Wednesday.

Navan and Limerick, which is due to stage a jumps card on Saturday and where the ground is heavy, will undergo routine 48-hour inspections on Thursday.

Naas unsure

Tom Ryan, manager of Naas, where the Group 3 Gladness Stakes and Alleged Stakes are the feature contests on Sunday, said: "We were bordering towards unraceable this morning but Brendan Sheridan, our clerk of the course, will walk the track in the morning and we'll have an update forecast and better idea then.

"If we can't race on Sunday we'll be looking to reschedule next week."

Easter fixture potentially rescheduled

According to Fairyhouse manager Peter Roe, discussions are taking place with HRI regarding a possible rescheduling of the third day of the racecourse's Easter meeting which was cancelled on Tuesday due to heavy rain.

"We'd like to hold the meeting as soon as possible but would need probably four dry days for that to be possible and there's no sign of that happening anytime soon," said Roe.



Chelmsford All-weather
Musselburgh Off
Warwick Off
Wolverhampton All-weather


Chelmsford All-weather
Dundalk All-weather
Fontwell Heavy (Up to 10mm of rain forecast on Wednesday)
Lingfield All-weather
Wetherby Off
Wexford Off


Fakenham Soft, heavy in two dips (Could have raced on Wednesday. 5-10mm forecast on Saturday morning)
Kelso Heavy (Becoming drier over next few days)
Kempton All-weather
Limerick Inspection Thursday.
Navan Heavy (Raceable on Wednesday. Conditions improving. Inspection Thursday)
Stratford Off
Uttoxeter Heavy (Still some standing water. Warmer and drier on Thursday and Friday)
Wolverhampton All-weather


Carlisle Chases: good to soft, soft in places; hurdles: good to soft
Naas Heavy
Exeter Heavy (Raceable on Wednesday)

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It was most unfortunate especially for all the students we were expecting from colleges all over the country

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