Catterick off but Leicester on after three checks apiece


Leicester: the decision to race was finally made just after midday

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( 

 By Andrew Dietz 12:08PM 28 DEC 2016 

FOLLOWING three inspections at each track on Wednesday, Catterick was called off but Leicester fared better when getting the go-ahead less than hour before the first race.

With temperatures dipping to -4C, officials at Catterick had been hoping for a rise in temperatures but they admitted defeat an hour before the first race, which had been due off at 11.55.

Catterick course manager Fiona Needham said: “It started to freeze around midnight and temperatures dipped to -4C. The fog came down at 9am which meant that it never got above freezing.

“The ground wasn’t too bad it was just a bit crusty on top and even as conditions were one senior jockey said that he was prepared to ride.”

Stipendiary steward Adrian Sharpe said: “The stewards made the final inspection, and after considering all options like moving rails they came to the conclusion that in certain places the frost in the ground meant that it was unsafe to race.”

Leicester gets all clear – finally

Leicester had more time on its side and used it by also arranging a third inspection at 11.30am for its six-race card starting at 12.55.

However, a decision was not made until gone midday but conditions were deemed suitable to race.

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: “It’s grand the meeting has gone ahead but it was getting to a stage where a decision had to be made as it was unfair on trainers, riders and the public who are travelling to the track.

“It’s one of those situations which arises now and again, you can never please everyone, but as long it is deemed safe by officials then we’re happy to go ahead.”

There is all-weather action at Lingfield and two fixtures in Ireland at Leopardstown, where the Lexus Chase will be run, and Limerick.

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