ALL racing in Britain and Ireland OFF as freezing cold temperatures cause fixture chaos in run-up to Christmas

ALL racing in Britain and Ireland is off today – with the freezing cold temperatures causing devastating fixture chaos.

Lingfield and Chelmsford were the only hopes of action on the all-weather today.

AlamyAscot was one of those falling victim to the cold snap devastating the racing[/caption]

But Surrey track Lingfield was called off live on ITV4 on Saturday morning with Essex racecourse Chelmsford axing their fixture shortly after.

Meetings that were due to take place at Haydock, Ascot, Newcastle and Fairyhouse in Ireland were scrapped days before.

Fakenham’s card set for tomorrow has already been abandoned.

Wolverhampton could go ahead on the all-weather tomorrow, but Navan and Thurles in Ireland look in doubt.

ITV Racing had been due to show five races from Lingfield on Saturday including the Listed Bet UK Quebec Stakes over 1m2f.

Ed Chamberlin and Co were also to show three races from Chelmsford.


But presenter Luke Harvey was at Lingfield in the morning when the racing was called off.

Lingfield clerk of the course George Hill said: “Racing abandoned. 9.30am inspection failed.

“Still not improved. Still -5C and not rising quickly enough. We appreciate everyone’s patience but we can’t beat nature.”

And he added on ITV: “We’ve tried everything. We’ve had marquee blowers on it for hours this morning underneath fleece.

“We’ve tried to work it but it’s cold. The weather station puts us at -4.7C at the moment and we dipped down to -8.9C this morning.

‘IT’S GUTTING’

“The problem we’re having is there are little frozen lumps, which I don’t believe – with the slow rise in temperatures – are going to thaw enough to make it safe from kickback for the horses and jockeys, which is what it’s about.

“It’s gutting. Apologies to everyone who is affected, for wasted journeys or wasted time.

“We have to give it every chance and the team have worked tirelessly and I’d like to thank them for the all the hard work they have put in.

“We’ve beat the weather in some cases on Monday and Wednesday but unfortunately, a couple of -8Cs in a row eventually takes its toll.”

Kempton’s Friday night meeting was abandoned after just two races as freezing cold fog made it unsafe to race.

BLOCKBUSTER ACTION TO COME

Punters should hopefully be in for a treat over the next week or so, however.

Monday is set to see the long-awaited return of Gold Cup favourite Galopin Des Champs in the rearranged John Durkan at Punchestown.

Racing will shut down for a short Christmas break from Friday December 23 – but comes back with an almighty bang on Boxing Day.

The King George at Kempton looks set to be a showstopper, while the rearranged Long Walk Hurdle will also take place on that day.

There will be FOUR Grade 1s on Boxing Day including the Brand New Racing Post App Novice Chase at Leopardstown and Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick.

The Welsh Grand National follows on Tuesday December 27, while the blockbuster Savills Chase is run the day after as part of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.

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