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Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Haydock, Ascot and Newcastle races axed due to weather

Horse racing

Saturday's meeting at Haydock fell victim to the weather as the cold snap decimated the weekend's racing.

Meetings at Ascot and Newcastle had been scrapped before Haydock was called off at 30 minutes' notice, after having passed an early morning inspection.

"It was called off due to frozen fences and unsafe conditions," said clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright.

"The frost covers did their job but as we lifted them the ground was freezing behind us."

"The elements went against us," Haydock's managing director Dickon White added.


"The forecast was for it to get above freezing. It hasn't done that and it is a difficult situation. I think we would have done exactly the same, but we will do a full review of this as we do every time and we will have a full investigation.

"The ground staff have done a great job but conditions have gone against us."

The Ascot card had been due to feature the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle with the Paul Nicholls-trained Big Buck's up against Diamond Harry, but clerk of the course Chris Stickles said it was "a pretty straightforward decision" to abandon it on Friday to allow people to make other plans.

Newcastle was due for an inspection on Saturday morning but was brought forward with snow still lying.

Speaking on Friday, clerk of the course James Armstrong said: "We've been banging our heads against a brick wall all day really.

"Temperatures have never really risen above freezing all day.

"The forecast says it will get to minus four overnight and some are even saying it could get down to minus six, so we need a miracle really and that's not going to happen."

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see also
Kauto Kempton bid 'to beat' frost
17 Dec 09 |  Horse Racing
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