Saturday jump racing cancelled as freeze continues to take heavy toll
There were no signs of the weather relenting on Thursday as Newcastle and Kempton were forced to cancel their meetings in the morning and all jump meetings in Britain and Ireland scheduled for Saturday were abandoned.
Kelso, Newbury, Navan and Doncaster have been called off, while Chelmsford's all-weather card hinges on an inspection at 1pm on Friday. In addition, Leopardstown's meetings on Sunday and Monday have already been lost.
An additional all-weather card for jumps horses has been created on Friday at Southwell, where the BHA has also programmed extra Flat racing on Sunday, when Huntingdon also hopes to race.
Chelmsford's meeting on Friday is also off, while Lingfield will be determined by an 8am inspection.
If that is on, the BHA offered some good news for jockeys as the organisation's head of media Robin Mounsey explained: "Owing to the ongoing extreme weather conditions, the BHA has informed jockeys that the winter weight allowance – which allows jockeys a 1lb weight allowance to wear an extra warm item of clothing – will be extended to those Flat all-weather meetings which go ahead on Friday.
"The allowance usually applies to all-weather race meetings staged between December and February, but due to the weather it has been agreed to extend this. The BHA will then revisit the situation on Friday as regards racing on Saturday."
Southwell is offering entry to members of tracks denied their fix this week.
"It’s been a hugely frustrating for the racing industry and its followers, with many meetings called off because of the wintry blast," the track's general manager Liam Johnson said today.
"At Huntingdon, the whole team is working as hard as possible to get Sunday’s meeting on. Of course, we are in the hands of the weather gods as well, but we'll do all we can and we're inviting annual members from all those racecourses which have lost fixtures this week to visit us free of charge."
Chelmsford (AW): cancelled
Lingfield (AW): inspection 8am Friday due to forecast snow
Southwell (AW): no problems anticipated with course to be worked on overnight
Dundalk (AW): cancelled
Chelmsford (AW): inspection 1pm Friday due to forecast snow; Friday's card cancelled
Lingfield (AW): covered in light snow with more snow showers forecast; inspecting for Friday's card
Newcastle (AW): heavy snow showers forecast
Huntingdon: inspection 8am Friday with course frozen and snow forecast
Sedgefield: inspection 7am Friday, course under 15cm of snow
Southwell (AW): course being worked on; no problems anticipated for Friday's card
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