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Page last updated at 08:49 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Ffos Las forced to call off Welsh Champion Hurdle card

Champion Hurdle winner Punjabi
Punjabi finished third in last year's Champion Hurdle

New Welsh racecourse Ffos Las has been forced to abandon Saturday's meeting because of freezing weather conditions.

The Carmarthenshire course was set to host its biggest meeting since it opened but the course failed an inspection early on Thursday.

Ffos Las chiefs will ask British Horseracing Authority if the £50,000 Grade Two Welsh Champion Hurdle can now be rescheduled for Sunday 17 January.

Friday's meeting at Bangor-on-Dee has also fallen victim to the weather.

Reigning champion hurdler Punjabi was to be the star attraction at the Welsh Champion hurdle and Ffos Las officials hope the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old will run in their rescheduled feature race.

The Welsh Champion Hurdle, traditionally staged in April, has been revived after a eight-year absence and the last one run at Chepstow in 2002.

The Champion Hurdle is the biggest race staged at Ffos Las, since the track opened in June, and hope Punjabi, winner of the 2009 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, will attend the new date.

Danehill Willy, trained in Wales by Evan Williams, will be one of the home hopes in the big race.

The seven-year-old has already won twice at Ffos Las, albeit in novice steeplechases rather than hurdle races, and was placed in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock Park last spring.

Now Tim Long, clerk of Ffos Las, hopes the racing's big names will be on show at the Welsh Champion Hurdle on Sunday week.

"In terms of the whole season, races of this nature are few and far between," he told BBC Sport.

"So trainers of horses at that level do need them as part of their programme looking towards the end of the season when the horse will be contesting the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham."

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see also
Welsh sport suffers in big freeze
10 Jan 10 |  Wales
British sport ravaged by weather
09 Jan 10 |  Sport Homepage
Racing goes ahead despite freeze
16 Jan 10 |  Horse Racing
Ffos Las race meeting abandoned
07 Jan 10 |  Horse Racing
Welsh duo create Ffos Las history
18 Jun 09 |  Horse Racing
Racecourse gets official opening
29 Aug 09 |  Wales
Ffos Las clears first hurdle in style
19 Jun 09 |  Horse Racing
Punjabi storms to Hurdle victory
10 Mar 09 |  Horse Racing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing

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