Hopes for Monday racing at Musselburgh

There is a blank day for racing today , Sunday, in Britain with meetings cancelled because of icy conditions.

Today’s meeting at Carlisle has already been called off due to frozen ground, leaving a blank Sunday of racing in Britain. Leicester was cancelled on Friday due to waterlogging on the track.

Musselburgh Racecourse earlier today- pictured by clerk of course Harriet Graham.  There are hopes that Monday’s meeting there  will go ahead.

Musselburgh’s Monday fixture is the latest meeting to be in danger of being cancelled , with extreme icy conditions crossing Britain. An inspection is planned there at 8.30am on Monday.

The chances of racing at Musselburgh on Monday were described as “60:40” by clerk of the course Harriet Graham, who said: “We’re currently frozen and wouldn’t race today, but the track could recover overnight as cloud cover increases.

“The Met Office has indicated temperatures should be 4 degrees C first thing Monday morning, getting up to a possible 7C tomorrow.  The track could thaw quickly at 4C,” she added.

The first race of seven is scheduled at the East Lothian track at 12.15pm and this early winter start, because of limited daylight hours, could mean the track would struggle to race because of early darkness.

But course officials  estimate that currently the chance of racing is 60:40.

There are unlikely to be problems on  Monday at Plumpton, where the going is soft. The only other meeting is on the all-weather at Wolverhampton, which should go ahead.

Meanwhile Fairyhouse Winter Festival is set to go ahead for a second day today, providing the only racing of the day, following the cancellation of fixtures at Leicester and Carlisle.

Carlisle passed its Saturday afternoon inspection but the meeting was not confirmed to go ahead with another look scheduled for 8am on Sunday morning.

However, course officials made the early call just prior to 7am to cancel the meeting at the Cumbria track, which was set to feature the Listed Houghton Mares’ Chase.

Speaking on Sunday morning, clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch said: “It’s disappointing because we were raceable yesterday but it went down to -6C.

“A couple of the crossings are frozen solid and even the fences are frozen. The forecast is for it to get to 0C today so it may come out a bit, but not as much as we need.”

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