Tuesday 25 July 2017

Ascot abandoned as big freeze strikes UK

Irish challenger Un De Sceaux was set to bid for back-to-back victories in the Clarence House Chase. Picture: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Irish challenger Un De Sceaux was set to bid for back-to-back victories in the Clarence House Chase. Picture: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The Clarence House Chase will be run at Cheltenham next Saturday following the abandonment of yesterday afternoon's high-profile fixture at Ascot.

The Grade One contest was due to be the main event on an attractive card, with Irish challenger Un De Sceaux set to bid for back-to-back victories.

However, the meeting was called off following an early-morning inspection and the feature event will now be part of a bumper nine-race card on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham next weekend.

The OLBG.com Mares' Hurdle has also been rescheduled and will be run at Huntingdon on Friday.

Ascot's clerk of the course Chris Stickels had been pessimistic about the chances of yesterday's fixture going ahead and after another night of freezing temperatures it did not take officials long to draw stumps after staging an official check at 6.30am.

"We've had to abandon, unfortunately," said Stickels. "It dipped down to minus three overnight, which is what was forecast. We're only due to get up to plus two or three today.

"We had similar temperatures on Friday morning and got up to plus six in the afternoon and we still weren't raceable, so we've got no chance today."

Officials at Taunton were also forced to abandon yesterday's National Hunt meeting. Temperatures dipped to minus three on Wednesday night and while the track was raceable on Thursday, clerk of the course Jason Loosemore announced an official inspection for 9.30am yesterday morning.

The Somerset venue was hit by further frosts on Thursday and Friday night and with temperatures still around plus four on Saturday morning, the fixture was called off earlier than planned.

Stickels added: "The forecast suggested temperatures could get down to minus two and we felt that would be okay. Unfortunately, we got down to minus four-and-a-half and was still hovering around minus four at 8.30am."

Today's jumps card at Hereford has also been abandoned.

Sunday Indo Sport

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport