Southwell ready to race but cold weather claims Lingfield's card
Racing returns in Britain on Friday afternoon following a rare blank day on Thursday, with Southwell's jumpers for bumpers card beating the elements.
But Lingfield's all-weather card has been cancelled due to overnight frost and severe wind chill. An 8am inspection has been called for Saturday's meeting at the track.
Chelmsford's Saturday evening meeting must also pass an 8am inspection, with the snow forecast to arrive by Friday lunchtime yet to materialise.
While the track at Southwell is raceable, the treacherous conditions are making it difficult for yards to operate and the bad weather meant Kim Bailey decided not to send Charbel to the meeting.
By 9.15am Charbel was one of 13 non-runners on the card, with travel the reason cited for 12 of the absentees.
Those planning to attend Southwell's fixture are being advised to access the track via Racecourse Lane next to the BP garage.
Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said: "The track's raceable and facilities are clear. People will have to make their own risk assessment as to whether they want to travel to the racecourse."
Having carefully reviewed the current situation here at Southwell and spoken to a number of trainers whose horses are currently travelling to the Racecourse, the decision is for racing to go ahead.— Southwell Racecourse (@Southwell_Races) March 2, 2018
However not everyone thinks the meeting should be staged.
Why are we racing @Southwell_Races today. The racecourse might be fine but the rest of the country isn’t. It is too dangerous shipping horses around in this weather. Not fair on trainers, stables staff and most importantly the horses.— Charlie Fellowes (@FellowesRacing) March 2, 2018
Donald McCain is sending five runners while also taking some of his Cheltenham Festival contenders for a gallop.
The bad weather continues to ravage the jumps programme, with no meetings until next week following the cancellation of Huntingdon and Sedgefield's cards on Friday morning.
Southwell (first race at 1.45)
Lingfield (2.30) ABANDONED
Volcanic 5-1 (from 7)
Born In Thorne 16-1 (from 25 with Betfair)
What to read
Bryony Frost has been one of the stars of the jumps season and she is heading into the festival with at least one strong chance in the prolific Black Corton. She took time out to complete a fascinating Q and A with Lee Mottershead.
It's a year since France introduced a riding allowance for females and the impact has been significant as Scott Burton reveals.
What to watch
While jump racing is sidelined you can brush up one some of the key Cheltenham Festival challengers as Jessica Harrington gives the latest on her team for the meeting.
If you want some lighter entertainment watch how festival regular Alastair Down gets to the meeting in a very engaging Road To Cheltenham feature.
The best of Racing Post Sport
Even the sport's programme has been decimated by the weather but there is a Championship football match scheduled this evening with Middlesbrough hosting Leeds.
Matthew Ireland has run the rule over the contest and has found a bet recommendation.
With the winter blast set to halt jump racing for a number of days bookmakers could expect extensive inquiries on ante-post markets from punters starved of quality racing.
Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on racingpost.com with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news