The possibility of weather causing turmoil for horse racing

Sandown’s Imperial Cup fixture on Saturday is generating a cautious optimism, with no current concerns over frost.

Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Esher track's Grand Military Gold Cup meeting this Tuesday is also forecasted to have temperatures no lower than 1C. However, the outlook for the rest of the week is not as clear.

According to some forecasts, snow could hit the south of England on Saturday, while other forecasts indicate rain on Thursday and Friday. Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper is closely watching the various forecasts, taking a day-by-day assessment.

Snow has already caused the closure of Newcastle's jumps meeting this week, and Catterick, Fontwell, Lingfield, and Kempton face 8am inspections due to their harsh frosts. Clerk of the course Fiona Needham at Catterick explains that temperatures there have not dropped low enough to get into the ground, but forecasts suggest temperatures could reach -6C tonight and may be an issue.

Philip Hide, clerk of the course at Fontwell, is more optimistic. He believes the arrival of rain will wash away any snow that arrives early in the morning.

The situation at Carlisle is similar, with temperatures expected to reach -5C and -6C for the next two nights, as well as potential sleet and snow. Carlisle's assistant clerk of the course Harry Phipps believes it will be a difficult task, with a 3pm inspection taking place on Wednesday.

Ayr's track is also covered due to the frost, and entries and weights will be available on Wednesday for Wolverhampton's additional fixture on Friday.

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