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Friday’s Newbury card subject to morning inspection

3 minute read

The first day of the Coral Gold Cup meeting at Newbury Racecourse will be subject to a preliminary inspection at 7:30am on Friday morning.

Newbury Racecourse.
Newbury Racecourse. Picture: Press Photo

Friday's card includes two Grade 2 contests – the Long Distance Hurdle and the John Francome Novices' Chase – whilst Saturday's fixture features the headline race of the meeting, the Coral Gold Cup.

Clerk of the Course George Hill said: "We got down to minus 2.8C last night, but everything is fine under the covers so far and we're above freezing now [on Thursday morning].

"We're due to get down minus 2C or minus 3C again tonight, so we've called the precautionary inspection, just to make sure we are going to be OK.

"Hopefully the covers will do their job and a second night of frost won't cause us any issues.

"The forecast is colder from Friday into Saturday – realistically, we're looking at minus 3C to minus 5C, possibly.

"We'll have to see what happens tonight into tomorrow and how the track reacts under the covers, and then it's a case how quickly we can deploy the frost covers again after racing as we go into darkness and temperatures are dropping. Until that happens, it's a bit unknown how the track will react.

"The only thing I would say is thankfully the track has got a good covering of grass on it, and it's not like we're in February where you've got watered ground and temperatures have been low for a long amount of time. It's been relatively mild and we've been frost-free up until last night.

"Having fresh ground does help you out quite a bit, so fingers crossed."

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