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Snow and frost forces spate of inspections for upcoming jumps fixtures

Snow and freezing temperatures has led to several jumps cards facing inspections this week, with cold weather set to feature in the forecast for the next few days.

There is optimism Monday's card at Plumpton will pass an 8am inspection, with the other scheduled jumps fixture at Market Rasen cancelled on Sunday due to a frozen track.

While frost sheets were deployed in vulnerable areas at Plumpton on Friday the course was frozen in places on Sunday morning.

Clerk of the course Mark Cornford said: "We're affected by frost this morning but we're certainly not frozen across the whole track.

"We don't have snow and we have light rain this morning, so I'm hopeful the frost will clear today. The forecast suggests we will have cloud cover from the early hours on Monday morning, so hopefully we don't have too much of a frost overnight. A bright and dry day is forecast for Monday.

"We'll keep people updated and if we're very lucky, we would be able to give the green light at 8am, but it may take another look a couple of hours on. Hopefully we won't have a problem, but we need to be cautious."

Leicester's meeting on Tuesday was called off last week due to waterlogging and the other jumps meeting that day at Kelso is subject to a midday inspection on Monday.

The going is described as heavy, frozen in places with further subzero temperatures expected on Sunday night before the forecast improves.

Clerk of the course Matthew Taylor said on Sunday morning: "It was -3C here on Friday night and -5C last night. We have frost covers down on the vulnerable areas and take-offs and landings, which have done a job to an extent, but the track is frozen.

"We're due another frost tonight before warmer temperatures on Monday. We're giving it every chance but it's cumulative frost and looking tough."

Wincanton's Wednesday meeting must pass an 8am inspection on Tuesday, with the course covered by four inches of snow on Sunday leaving it unraceable.

Clerk of the course Daniel Cooper said: "We had the top end of the snow forecast with four inches on the track.

"There would be no hope of racing on Monday, with the risk of the snow melting and becoming waterlogged or the track freezing, so we will take a look on Tuesday morning.

"It's set to be cold first thing on Tuesday before temperatures rise around 9am. If we see the temperatures increase then there's every chance we may pass the inspection.

"We're slightly on the back foot as we had a team coming in today to finish rail movements and track repair from our meeting last week. That won't now happen today, but we will do everything we can to get the meeting on."

Wetherby, due to stage racing on Thursday, remains flooded in places after the nearby river burst its banks last week. 

However, the river levels have dropped and the standing water on the track had reduced by 30 per cent on Saturday.

Weather prospects
Monday

Market Rasen
Cancelled (frozen track)

Plumpton
Soft, heavy in places (frozen in places)
Outlook: 8am inspection on raceday morning. Clerk of the course Mark Cornford: “The forecast suggests we will have cloud cover from the early hours on Monday morning, so hopefully we don't have too much of a frost overnight. Hopefully we won't have a problem, but we need to be cautious."

Chelmsford (aw)
Standard
Outlook: possible snow shower Sunday afternoon, but no reported problems anticipated

Kempton (aw)
Standard to slow
Outlook: snow expected until 4pm on Sunday, conditions being monitored

Tuesday

Kelso
Heavy, frozen in places
Outlook: midday inspection on Monday. Clerk of the course Matthew Taylor: “We're giving it every chance but it's cumulative frost and looking tough."

Down Royal
Hurdle - Heavy, soft in places, Chase - Soft, heavy in places 
Outlook: Snow/sleet forecast on Sunday with temperature dropping to as low as -5C on Sunday night. Situation being monitored

Southwell (AW)
Standard to slow
Outlook: -3/4C forecast on Sunday night, but no reported problems

Wolverhampton (AW)
Standard
Outlook: no reported problems anticipated

Wednesday

Catterick
Heavy, soft in places (frozen)
Outlook: Dry through to racing but remaining cold with overnight frosts. Milder air moving in midweek but potentially not until Wednesday evening

Wincanton
Heavy (unraceable)
Outlook: 8am inspection on Tuesday, track covered in four inches of snow on Sunday. Clerk of the course Daniel Cooper: “If we see the temperatures increase then there's every chance we may pass the inspection. We will do everything we can to get the meeting on."

Lingfield (AW)
Standard
Outlook: no reported problems

Kempton (AW)
Standard to slow
Outlook: snow expected until 4pm on Sunday, conditions being monitored.

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