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Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Huntingdon's Peterborough Chase card called off but Punchestown goes ahead

Huntingdon's Peterborough Chase card has been lost to the weather
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Today's Grade 2 Peterborough Chase card at Huntingdon has been abandoned with the track covered in snow, further snow forecast and temperatures not due to get above freezing, while Monday's Musselburgh card has also been abandoned due to frozen ground.

There was some good news for racing fans though as Punchestown passed a morning inspection. The ground is now heavy after 10mm of rain overnight. Further showers are forecast today with some possibly of snow.

Efforts will be made by Huntingdon to try and save the feature race, often used as a stepping stone to the 32Red King George.

Clerk of the course Jack Pryor said: "We have had 3cm of settled snow since 5.30am, with snow still falling forecast is for it to do so all day and temperatures not due to rise above zero.

"That poses a challenge in terms lifting the fleece, travel, clearing the site and with such a bleak forecast there's the possibility it could freeze behind us as we lifted. We wanted to be respectful of those travelling in these conditions and make an early call.

"The ground's not frozen under the fleece but snow would settle on that ground and we may be getting everyone here with false hope. It's very disappointing as it was such a good day's racing."

On saving the Peterborough Chase he added: "We'll speak to the BHA and the horsemen and see what options are available, it's something we'll definitely consider. I imagine those discussions will happen tomorrow at some point."

Kelso's Sunday card had already been abandoned, while Musselburgh's Monday meeting was also called off on Sunday morning by clerk of the course Harriet Graham.

Graham reported: "It's -5C and frozen. The forecast is to only get to 1C today so there's no prospect of a thaw."

The ground's not frozen under the fleece but snow would settle on that ground and we may be getting everyone here with false hope

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