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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Lingfield the only survivor as Wolverhampton also falls to arctic blast

Making tracks: a tractor clears the gallop in Lambourn
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Only Lingfield has managed to beat the elements today, as Ayr and Wolverhampton joined Uttoxeter on the abandoned list.

Temperatures plunged overnight at Ayr leaving the track frozen, and while the Tapeta surface is raceable at Wolverhampton, surrounding areas of the course have been deemed too icy.

"Unfortunately, despite massive efforts, ancillary areas like the pre-parade ring and unsaddling areas are not safe," clerk of the course Fergus Cameron said.

"We had all the staff from Uttoxeter in, and worked the track overnight. It responded really well, the track is raceable, so it's hugely disappointing."

All-weather action will again take centre stage on Wednesday, as Hexham and Leicester's cards were both called off on Tuesday morning. A fifth hard night of frost was too much for Hexham, with the course frozen, while a combination of snow and ice claimed Leicester's card.

Going report

Ayr Abandoned

Lingfield 11.30

Wolverhampton 3.50
Inspection 10am

Uttoxeter Abandoned

Market movers

Lingfield 12.30
Merdon Castle 11-4 (from 7-2)

Lingfield 1.35
Emenem 9-4 (from 3)

Lingfield 2.10
Shamshon 9-2 (from 6)

What to back

It takes Nick Watts just ten seconds to make a case for his Tuesday best bet at Lingfield

What to read

Snow and frost might be putting a hole in the fixture list but there was good news on Monday when Sunday's cancelled Peterborough Chase was switched to Taunton's card on Thursday and is a possible option for Cue Card. 

Barry Geraghty has defended the decision to race at Cork on Sunday, despite the last two races having to be called off.  

Jim Old pays tribute to "street-fighting" Champion Hurdle winner Collier Bay, who has died at the age of 27. 

What to watch

Sizing John and Un De Sceaux returned to the winner's enclosure over the weekend and the Postcast panellists are at odds as to what it all means for the season's defining contests. The team also analyse the current Grand National market, pick some eyecatchers and preview this weekend's card at Cheltenham.

The best of Racing Post Sport

Manchester City have soared to the head of the Champions League betting after a kind last-16 draw against Basel and Pep Guardiola's stars are 50-1 with bet365 to claim a grand slam of major trophies this season.

Final thought 

A warm welcome back on what is sure to be a chilly day to Franny Norton, who returns to action at Lingfield having been off the track since breaking a rib and damaging ligaments in his knee after a fall at Southwell last month. With 82 winners for the year, his injury setback came when he was just two away from breaking his highest ever annual tally but he returns with plenty of time to reach the milestone before the end of the year. 

Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news

The team also analyse the current Grand National market, pick some eyecatchers and preview this weekend's card at Cheltenham

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