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Catterick and Wincanton cancel Wednesday cards as cold snap disrupts programme

Wincanton: officials left with no choice but to call off Wednesday's meeting
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Wincanton has been forced to cancel its seven-race card on Wednesday after melting snow caused the track to become waterlogged, while frozen Catterick also lost its meeting  scheduled for the same afternoon.

Officials arrived at Wincanton on Tuesday morning to find several inches of snow still covering the track and subsequently pushed back an 8am inspection until 4pm in the hope temperatures would rise and conditions would improve.

However, as the snow began to thaw, the track became waterlogged and an early decision was made to cancel Wednesday's meeting.


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Clerk of the course Daniel Cooper said: "I arrived this morning at the track to a good covering of snow and we knew quite quickly the 8am inspection wouldn't pass so that's why we put one in for 4pm.

"We had an intense thaw which has now caused a waterlogged track. We began counting which fences to bypass and we kept going until we realised it was clearly an unraceable track."

Hopes that Catterick would be able to stage its jumps fixture on Wednesday were extinguished just after 3pm on Tuesday when groundstaff found the circuit to be frozen, while an inspection has been called for 9am on Wednesday for Wetherby's Thursday meeting, although clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson reckons "the elements are against us".

The course was badly flooded after heavy rain last week and although standing water on the course has reduced by 50 per cent, the areas that remain under water have now frozen over and officials need to see improvement for racing to go ahead.

"We need to have a look at it 24 hours out because if it hasn't made a lot of progress from where it is today and with more rain forecast from Thursday morning we wouldn't be overly optimistic," Sanderson said on Tuesday.

"In normal circumstances the water would have drained from the course but because of the temperature we have frozen lakes out there so we need them to thaw for the drainage system to take effect.

"Being realistic we need it to be gone by the end of today if we're to have a chance. The elements are against us at this stage."

Fakenham is also scheduled to race on Thursday and no inspection has been called for the Norfolk venue, while the card at Down Royal on Tuesday, which was cancelled because of frost, has been rearranged for Thursday week.


Weather prospects

Wednesday

Catterick
Cancelled (frozen)

Wincanton
Cancelled (waterlogged track)

Thurles
Soft to heavy
Outlook: Occasional showers on Tuesday with potential for heavy rain late afternoon on Wednesday.

Lingfield (AW)
Standard
Outlook: No reported problems.

Kempton (AW)
Standard to slow
Outlook: Conditions being monitored.

Thursday

Gowran Park
Heavy
Outlook:
Showers forecast.

Fakenham
Soft, frozen in places
Outlook: Frost expected to come out of the ground on Tuesday or Wednesday. Officials confident there will be no problems.

Newcastle (AW)
Standard to slow
Outlook: Temperatures to drop to between -2C and -4C on Tuesday and Wednesday night before becoming milder.

Southwell (AW)
Standard to slow
Outlook: No reported problems.

Wetherby
Heavy, frozen in places
Outlook: 9am inspection on Wednesday. Clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson: "We need to have a look at it 24 hours out because if it hasn't made a lot of progress from where it is today and with more rain forecast from Thursday morning we wouldn't be overly optimistic."

Friday

Doncaster
Soft
Outlook: Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan: "Temperatures are forecast to rise above freezing on Monday with a possible frost overnight before warming considerably from Tuesday onwards. After Tuesday there are no overnight frosts forecast so we expect it to thaw out. There is a chance of significant rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday but at the moment we think the ground is improving and we should cope with that without any problems." 

Huntingdon
Heavy, soft in places (snow covered)
Outlook: Overnight frost on Tuesday before becoming milder but wetter later in the week.

Lingfield (AW)
Standard
Outlook: No reported problems.

Wolverhampton (AW)
Standard
Outlook: No reported problems.

Navan
Soft to heavy
Outlook: Weather becoming more unsettled from Tuesday onwards with spells of rain.

Dundalk (AW)
Standard
Outlook: Showers forecast

Saturday

Cheltenham
Soft, heavy in places
Outlook:
 Cold with wintry showers until Tuesday, milder with further rain from midweek. Clerk of the course Simon Claisse: "Looking at the forecast I expect we'll be heavy ground." 

Doncaster 
Soft
Outlook: Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan: "Temperatures are forecast to rise above freezing on Monday with a possible frost overnight before warming considerably from Tuesday onwards. After Tuesday there are no overnight frosts forecast so we expect it to thaw out. There is a chance of significant rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday but at the moment we think the ground is improving and we should cope with that without any problems."

Fairyhouse
Heavy
Outlook: Rain over the coming days and turning drier towards the weekend.

Lingfield (AW)
Standard
Outlook: No reported problems.

Kempton (AW)
Standard to slow
Outlook: No reported problems.

Sunday

Fontwell
Heavy, waterlogged in places
Outlook: Week ahead predominantly wet. Officials will continue to monitor and update.

Uttoxeter
Heavy (snow covered)
Outlook: 4.5 inches of snow currently on the track. Temperatures set to warm during the week with showers forecast before turning colder again at the weekend.

Naas
Soft to heavy
Outlook: Unsettled forecast.


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Being realistic we need it to be gone by the end of today if we're to have a chance. The elements are against us at this stage
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