Winter Woe for Racing

Press Releasein Equestrian

Another Arctic blast is causing more disruption to the racing programme.

Today's meetings at Huntingdon and Wolverhampton have been snowed off, but Thursday's remaining fixtures at Taunton and Southwell appear to have braved the elements.

Tony McCoy has re-routed to Taunton in his continuing quest to reach 3,000 British and Irish National Hunt winners after this afternoon's fare at Huntingdon was abandoned because of snow.

The 13-times champion has snapped up one ride at the Somerset venue.

McCoy, just two short of the magic figure, replaces Richard Johnson aboard Adare Prince in the Carlsberg UK Handicap Chase.

The Philip Hobbs-trained eight-year-old is owned by McCoy's boss, JP McManus.

An upbeat Taunton clerk of the course Michael Trickey said: "We had light overnight snow, with minimum temperatures not even getting to minus-one degrees.

"The going (heavy, soft in places) is hardly pristine, but at least we are racing."

The cause, however, was lost at Huntingdon.

Clerk of the course Andrew Morris said: "We've had three and a half inches of snow overnight and it is not going to clear in time for the meeting."

Today's all-weather meetings have also felt the pinch, but the bulldog spirit is in evidence at Southwell.

"It is snowing here, but we've managed to keep on top of it," said clerk of the course Roderick Duncan.

"Our track is still raceable.

"Our officials, doctors and nurses are attempting to get in and we are going to try to go for it.

"We had a spell where we had a little bit of sleet and a pause in the snow but it's snowing again."

However, officials at Wolverhampton were forced to abandon this evening's meeting in the interests of safety.

Clerk of the course Fergus Cameron called an inspection after the track was hit by a substantial amount of overnight snow.

"We've had no snow for about an hour here and there are no lumps in the track," he said.

"But there are snow crystals, which are mixed up within the Polytrack. Temperatures are unlikely to rise too much.

"If they do get above zero, we will have further snow and if they don't things are not going to thaw enough.

"Therefore, in the interests of safety we have had to call the meeting off."

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