National Hunt fixtures wiped out on Saturday as cold snap continues into weekend

There will be no jumps racing in the UK on Saturday with Ascot, Haydock and Newcastle all abandoned due to frozen tracks.

With Friday's card at Ascot already called off on Wednesday, an inspection was due to be held on Friday morning to assess conditions for Saturday. 

However, with a much colder night than forecasted, clerk of the course Chris Stickels was left with no option but to also abandon Saturday's action, which was due to feature the Grade One Howden Long Walk Hurdle.

"We've abandoned for Saturday, we had minus 6.5C overnight," said Stickels.

"We're still at minus 6C now (8.30am) and the track is frozen solid under the covers.

"We might get to 1C today but it is supposed to get to minus 5C again tonight and Friday might reach 1.5C before it goes back down to minus 4C on Friday night.

"There's no prospect of it becoming raceable so there's little prospect of us delaying the inevitable any further to be honest, so we have let everyone know so they can make plans."

Haydock's meeting on Saturday has also been abandoned but that news came as perhaps even less of a surprise.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright had informed everyone earlier in the week that a major thaw would be needed and that was not forthcoming.

An inspection was held on Thursday morning but it was an easy decision after temperatures dipped as low as minus 8C overnight.

Newcastle is also off on Saturday with clerk of the course Eloise Quayle deciding there was no prospect of a thaw taking in place in time.

Southwell passed its inspection on Thursday so there will be some action in the UK, but Ffos Las was abandoned following a second inspection at 9.30am. While the track was raceable, the stable area was deemed unsafe.

Kevin Hire, general manager at Ffos Las, said on Twitter: "Despite the track being in amazing condition the stable area is all frozen and the key to everything is horse welfare.

"The biggest challenge is we are unable to provide hot and cold water so will will unfortunately have to abandon the meeting."

Chelmsford's evening meeting passed a second inspection at 10am.

The meeting at Fairyhouse on Saturday is subject to an inspection on Friday at 9am with the track currently unraceable. The overnight temperatures have been as low as minus 7C.

There will be no jumps action on Friday, either, with Uttoxeter's meeting abandoned following a 9am inspection on Thursday. All-weather meetings are scheduled for Kempton and Southwell on Friday and Dundalk in Ireland.

Sunday's card at Fakenham was also an early casualty meaning the first hope of any National Hunt racing in the UK is Monday at the earliest.

Navan's meeting on Sunday must pass a 3pm inspection on Saturday with the course currently unraceable.

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