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Market Rasen optimistic of racing on Saturday but Kelso's Sunday meeting off

Jumpers' bumper cards scheduled for Lingfield and Newcastle next week

Officials at Market Rasen are optimistic Saturday's card can be staged despite calling a morning inspection
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Officials at Market Rasen are optimistic Saturday's card will take place despite calling an 8am inspection on the morning of racing.

The Lincolnshire track is set to stage a seven-race card with three races in front of the ITV cameras, including a Listed bumper featuring the Willie Mullins-trained Grangee, who will be the first Irish-trained runner to run in Britain following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.

The ground is described as soft, heavy in places, and course conditions will be checked in the morning with wintry showers forecast for Friday night. 

Clerk of the course Jack Pryor said on Friday: "We're perfectly raceable as we speak and the track is in good order. We just called it based on the overnight forecast for wintry showers tomorrow morning.

"There's sleety showers forecast from around 4am and 5am through until parts of the morning. We didn't want to turn up at 6am tomorrow morning and find some snow sitting on the ground.

"We're really looking forward to being on ITV and we obviously have a Willie Mullins runner too, so we have plenty to look forward to. We wanted to make people aware as early as we could, but we're pretty optimistic about our chances."

However, Kelso's meeting on Sunday has been cancelled due to waterlogging. 

The course was set to host eight races over jumps but a combination of frozen ground, a high water table and more forecast rain on Saturday left clerk of the course Matthew Taylor with no choice.

Sunday's meeting at Kelso has been cancelled

"The track has been frozen for two and half of the last three weeks," Taylor said. "There was some thawing about three days ago but all the frost has frozen and waterlogged the track.

"The water table is very high and we had a bit of snow and sleet a few days ago. We had standing water last night and that has re-frozen completely. 

"We've got another frost due this evening, we would thaw by Saturday afternoon but we've also got an inch of rain forecast and with the thawing we'll certainly be waterlogged.

"That in turn is then likely to create areas of false ground. The problem is we can't see those yet because we're frozen. It's the combination a few different problems all coming to a head at once."

Kelso's next meeting is on January 26.

Is racing on or off? Updated weather prospects for the upcoming meetings

The cancellation comes after Friday's meetings at Huntingdon and Sedgefield and Thursday's Catterick card fell foul of the weather.

Next week's fixtures at Lingfield and Newcastle have already been cancelled but the BHA has announced a pair of jumpers' bumpers cards will replace jumps fixtures. 

Newcastle's meeting on Wednesday was cancelled after an inspection at midday on Thursday found the track to be waterlogged and with a covering of snow, and a couple of hours later Lingfield's meeting on Monday was called off due to waterlogging and no prospect of improvement.

Clerk of the course Jack Pryor (left) with Nicky Henderson: "The Environment Agency issued a flood alert"

Friday's meeting at Sedgefield was cancelled on Wednesday afternoon due to a frozen track with snow subsequently covering the track, leaving all-weather action at Newcastle, Southwell and Dundalk in Britain and Ireland.

Confirmed runners and riders for the Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday

There are no concerns at this stage for Warwick's big meeting on Saturday with the going described as soft, heavy in places after 11mm of rain on Thursday.

Clerk of the course Jane Hedley expects the going description to be heading towards heavy if the forecast proves correct.

Hedley said: "There are no concerns at this stage and I expect the ground will be mostly heavy if the rain arrives on Saturday."

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We wanted to make people aware as early as we could, but we're pretty optimistic about our chances
E.W. Terms