Big freeze continues
Prospects of jump racing before the weekend on either side of the Irish Sea remain remote with the Thurles fixture for Thursday already called off, WRITES THOMAS KELLY.
Irish Turf Club spokesman Cliff Noone said: "Following a course inspection at Thurles, the course was found to be unfit for racing and as a consequence Thursday's fixture has been cancelled."
Today and tomorrow in England are already blank days, except for the all-weather fixtures, while there is little hope for Thursday and Friday either.
Saturday's meeting at Ffos Las appears to hold the best chance of beating the freeze, but the Welsh track needs to see an improvement in conditions.
The first full week of the New Year got off to an icy start with no National Hunt fare yesterday while today's fixture at Leicester joined Taunton, which was abandoned on Sunday.
Officials at Hexham called time on tomorrow's meeting after a planned inspection was brought forward.
Southwell, scheduled for tomorrow, failed a noon inspection. Meanwhile, prospects for Huntingdon on Thursday are described as "bleak" with an inspection scheduled for today.
The icy blast has led officials at Fontwell to call an inspection for Friday's meeting at 3pm tomorrow while officials at Bangor will decide today when to hold an inspection ahead of Friday's meeting. Officials at Wincanton will also inspect at 2pm tomorrow to assess the prospects of racing on Saturday.
With little prospect of jumps action, the British Horseracing Authority have added an extra mixed meeting at Lingfield on Thursday. The all-weather venue will stage three bumpers and three flat races.
Southwell will also stage an extra six-race Flat meeting on Friday while the BHA has also confirmed an additional Flat meeting at Kempton on Saturday.