Inspections at Haydock and Newcastle with temperatures set to dip
Haydock faces a last hurdle to clear for Saturday's Peter Marsh Chase meeting, with a dip in temperature taking over from rain as the concern.
Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright remains "cautiously optimistic" after announcing an 8am inspection; another has been called by Newcastle to assess the chances of hosting jump racing on Sunday.
Tellwright said on Friday: "We had another 14mm of rain overnight to make it around two inches of rain in the week but we have been spared snow so far and the chances are receding now.
"The only remaining challenge is frost with the worst forecast of -1C to -2C overnight and what we don't need is snow, as we have put sheets down on all the at-risk areas on bends and around fences and we wouldn't be able to lift them if we got snow on top of them."
Ascot had a "light frost" on Thursday night but had put the covers down on exposed areas and a changed forecast overnight Friday has rain replacing the cold clear forecast.
Chris Stickels, Ascot's clerk of the course, said on Friday: "We are now forecast rain from the early hours and through tomorrow morning with sleety rain and feeling cold during racing.
"The ground is currently a mixture of soft and good to soft but it would go soft all over with 3-4mm or rain – it wouldn't take much."
Ascot has covered takeoff and landing areas and the shaded area under the grandstand in the straight.
Taunton is anticipating no problems with clerk of the course Jason Loosemore reporting: "We are expecting a little bit of rain overnight and into the morning but it shouldn't cause us any problem with the ground soft and heavy in places."
Newcastle is "up against it" for racing on Sunday according to clerk of the course James Armstrong, having maintained two inches of snowfall on Thursday morning and the course remaining unraceable on Friday.
Armstrong said: "There has been a bit of improvement, you can see a few blades of grass, but there is a very cold forecast for Saturday night into Sunday – possibly as low as -3, which is a concern."
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