Thurles stages Naas fixture


FOLLOWING and inspection at Naas racecourse yesterday afternoon, it was confirmed that the track would not be fit for racing tomorrow due to snow on the course and the meeting has been transferred to Thurles.

The stewards of the INHS committee have granted permission to abandon the Craddoxtown EBF Novic Chase and the Boyne Handicap Chase and have ordered that subject to sufficient declarations being received, two races will be divided to make a seven-race card.

Only Musselburgh appears to offer a realistic hope of staging jumps racing in Britain this week as winter continues its icy grip across the channel.

Clerk of the course Mark Kershaw yesterday reported prospects for holding Friday's meeting at the Scottish track as "reasonable."

"We would have been in action today. The weather's remaining cold but it looks as if we should escape the frost tonight and over the next few days," he said.

Musselburgh staged the last jumps meeting in Britain on the Friday after Christmas.

It came within an ace of putting on the only jumps racing this year last Saturday. The course had been raceable but it was a late casualty owing to an unexpected frost.

"We were unlucky last week and bearing in mind what happened then we're not going to get too bullish just yet," added Kershaw.

Hopes of staging Ascot's valuable two-day meeting scheduled?" for Friday and Saturday are fading fast.

With the ground frozen at the Berkshire course, an inspection will be held at 8 a.m. tomorrow to determine prospects for racing on Friday.

Clerk of the course Nick Cheyne said: "Prospects are pretty poor it has been freezing all day and the course is frozen solid.

"It is forecast to freeze overnight and it looks similar for Wednesday but obviously we want to give things a chance to improve."

Tomorrow's meeting at Wincanton became the latest victim of the cold snap when it was called off yesterday afternoon.

Clerk of the course Ian Renton said: "The track has been frozen solid since Christmas and it will take quite a long time for the frost to come out.

"We had three degrees of frost last night and it is still one degree below zero now with another drop in temperature to come tonight and tomorrow so we didn't have much chance."

A total of 55 jumps meetings have now been lost during the current season, 45 since Christmas.

Tomorrow's other scheduled turf fixture at Wetherby is subject to an inspection at 7.30 this morning.

Clerk of the course Christopher Tetley rated the track unraceable on Monday and he said yesterday morning: "I am marginally less optimistic now because it is colder today. There is still snow on the course.

Today's meeting at Kelso was called off following an inspection early yesterday.

Clerk of the course Johnnie Fenwicke-Clennell said: "The track is still absolutely covered in snow."