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"The tracks remains frozen in places" - Ascot cancels Clarence House card

19 Jan 2023
Jon Vine 19 Jan 2023
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  • Ascot has been forced to abandon their Clarence House meeting on Saturday
  • Energumene and Edwardstone had been due to square off in the Grade One Clarence House Chase
  • Chris Stickles confirmed today that the track at Ascot remains frozen and unraceable
ascot snow
Snow causes the race meeting to be abandoned at Ascot racecourse in 2013. (Getty)

Ascot's Clarence House meeting on Saturday has been abandoned, after an early inspection took place on Thursday afternoon.

Clerk of the course at Ascot, Chris Stickles didn't seem confident that the meeting would go ahead when he spoke to the press earlier in the week. Britain and Ireland have been gripped by a cold snap since the weekend, and Stickles said that Ascot "faced challenges" to get the track in a raceable condition by Saturday.

The sub-zero temperatures haven't relented during the week. No National Hunt racing has taken place since Monday and Lingfield has already called off the opening day of it's Winter Million meeting on Friday. Even Newcastle has been forced to cancel their meeting on Friday, with their all-weather track deemed unraceable.

With the forecast looking bleak, Ascot called an early inspection on Thursday afternoon. As expected, the racecourse was still frozen and Ascot confirmed that Saturday's card had been abandoned.

"Following an inspection at 4pm on Thursday, the track remains frozen in places and unraceable, despite temperatures reaching 5C." Read a statement on Ascot's Twitter account.

"Given the continued sub-zero temperatures forecast at night through to Saturday, there is now therefore no chance it will be raceable by Saturday."

"All ticket holders will be contacted regarding their bookings. Any potential rearrangement of individual races, including the Grade One Clarence House Chase, is a matter for the BHA."

Haydock Park is due to stage their popular Peter Marsh Chase meeting on Saturday, but they announced an early inspection for midday on Friday, with half an inch of snow currently covering their track.

Lingfield is yet to announce an inspection ahead of their hugely valuable jumps card on Sunday, despite the track being frozen in places. Taunton, Fakenham, Navan and Thurles will also conduct course inspections ahead of their weekend meetings. 

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