‘Beast from the East’ set to hit racing hard

Clonmel’s meeting on Thursday could be in ‘serious trouble’

 

Racing in both Ireland and Britain is bracing itself for the impact of freezing conditions and the weather outlook could put this Thursday’s Clonmel fixture in jeopardy.

Wednesday’s Wincanton meeting has already been abandoned due to a frozen track and Ireland’s next scheduled fixture may also be in danger.

“If the forecast is correct Clonmel could be in serious trouble. The situation is being monitored but there is serious frost and snow forecast,” said an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board spokesman on Monday.

Dundalk’s all-weather course is due to race on Friday evening while Navan is scheduled to race on Saturday.

“The forecast is changing all the time. Every time I look it’s different. But fingers crossed we’ll be lucky,” said the Navan manager, Peter Killenn. “The latest is that Thursday will be bad, minus two or three up until midday. But they’re saying now we could get rain on Friday and temperatures could get up to plus two on Saturday. If that happens, and we get rain, we could be alright. But if snow sticks and it freezes we won’t.”

Leopardstown officials appeared more hopeful of racing going ahead there on Sunday. “We’re expecting some snow on Wednesday and into Thursday. It could drop as low as minus five we’re told. But temperatures are expected to go up by the weekend so we’re hopeful. We’re dependant on how much snow we get, and how cold it gets,” said a spokesman.

Wednesday’s meeting at Wincanton has been abandoned due to a frozen track. Clerk of the course Barry Johnson called off the National Hunt card after walking the track on Monday afternoon. He said: “We walked the track yesterday afternoon and it was raceable, so we decided that if it was raceable this afternoon, we would then call an inspection. However, it went down to minus 3C overnight and it wasn’t raceable today with no chance of it improving.

“We could get as low as minus 6C and the forecast is horrendous, so we thought it best to make an early call.”

Inspections are scheduled for Tuesday morning at both Catterick and Chelmsford. Leicester’s Tuesday card has already been cancelled. The Taunton fixture scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled due to frozen ground conditions.

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