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Lingfield forced to cancel opening day of the Winter Million Festival

3 minute read

Friday’s meeting at Lingfield has been abandoned due to a frozen track after failing an inspection at 8:30am on Wednesday morning.

Lingfield Park Racecourse.
Lingfield Park Racecourse. Picture: PA Images

It was a disappointing result for officials at the Surrey racecourse, with Friday's seven-race card kicking off the exciting three-day Winter Million Festival.

The Friday course was set to stage the Grade 2 Download The Racing App Lightning Novices' Chase, but the feature event has been moved to Sunday's card. Entries include the likes of the exciting Djelo, JPR and My Mate Mozzie. Original entries will stand with declarations taking place at the standard time of 10am for a Sunday fixture.

Clerk of the course Stephanie Wethered said: "We're really gutted that we've had to abandon Friday's card, but with the lower than expected temperatures that we saw on Monday night of minus 7C, followed by last night's frost of minus 1C, we do still have frost under the fleece.

"Tonight, we could get down to minus 6C and on Thursday night we're due to go down to minus 5C, so looking at that forecast, I don't see there being sufficient improvement ahead of Friday."

Wethered added: "Looking at the forecast, it looks to improve for Saturday and Sunday's racing, with positive temperatures coming through Saturday itself and we're forecast to be plus 3C overnight from Saturday into Sunday.

"We're delighted that we've been able to move the Lightning to Sunday's card."

However, there will be National Hunt Racing in Britain on Wednesday after Southwell passed its morning inspection. Newcastle will hold a six-race card on the all-weather this afternoon, while Kempton is set to hold the same number of races on the Polytrack this evening.

Both Ludlow and Wincanton have already been forced to abandon their fixtures on Thursday meaning there will be no jumps racing in Britain tomorrow. Other scheduled meetings for Thursday at Wincanton and Newcastle were cancelled earlier in the week. Fairyhouse's Thursday afternoon fixture also remains under threat as they face a 12pm inspection on Wednesday.

Market Rasen will have to pass a 12pm inspection on Thursday ahead of its Friday afternoon fixture. The track is currently raceable, but temperatures look set to drop to well below freezing on Wednesday and Thursday night.

Taunton's track is currently unraceable causing officials to call for an inspection at noon on Friday ahead of Saturday's afternoon card.

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