Doncaster is latest casualty as weather wipes out jumps action

WITH little sign of a thaw in sight, the big freeze continues to decimate the National Hunt scene, although the all-weather tracks have been keep some sort of show on the road for racing.

Doncaster's meeting on Wednesday is the latest to have been abandoned, joining the scheduled action from Kelso for that day on the sidelines.

With eight inches of snow on the track and more forecast, Doncaster's clerk of the course David Williams brought forward a 12 noon inspection scheduled for today.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It was an inevitable outcome really," said Williams. "There was no point delaying the decision any longer."

Thursday's meetings at Catterick and Towcester are subject to inspections today, at noon and 10am respectively. The outlook at both looks pretty grim.

Kempton is one of the all-weather tracks that has beaten the weather, but they are scheduled to have a National Hunt fixture on Saturday.

However, that needs to pass a 10am check today and the Flat meeting due to take place this afternoon needs to pass a 7.30am look due to the threat of heavy snow. Today's other action is due to take place at Wolverhampton, where an 8am inspection is needed.

Prospects of a resumption of turf racing this week appear slim, and it is an 8-11 chance on Betfair that none takes place before 18 January.

Racing went ahead at Southwell yesterday and the aptly-named Snow Bay was a successful for the partnership of trainer Bryan Smart and jockey Phillip Makin .

With the grey skies providing a fresh dusting of wintry weather early in the afternoon, the 5-1 chance nailed the front-running Bel Cantor by a short head.

Smart's stable jockey is back in action at Wolverhampton today after taking a break on 1 January, and Makin said: "Bryan's horses are in good form and while Tom (Eaves] is back off his holiday soon it is nice to have got on them while they are ready to win. He was keen down the back but then idled all along the home straight and could have gone around again."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

John Harris made the short journey from Melton Mowbray more than worthwhile as his only runner of the afternoon, Black Falcon, swooped to take the seller.

The 13-2 chance had been slowly away when finishing fourth here on Friday, but made no such mistake this time and was in the front rank swinging for home.

Robert Winston pulled the ten-year-old veteran off the rail to eyeball Inside Story inside the distance and the partnership had a neck in hand of that rival dashing past the line.

Harris said: "He always drifts left, but Robert pulled him off the rail and he went on again when he came upsides the other horse."

Tom Dascombe was another trainer with a sole representative and he struck with Look Officer (15-2) in the Tony Hadfield 80th Birthday Handicap.

Dascombe has started 2010 fully ensconced in Manchester United striker Michael Owen's Cheshire yard and Look Officer was his first winner of the new year as he struck with a near four-length triumph. Mark Johnston's Love Delta broke as the 4-6 favourite to collect as he liked in the Play Golf Before Racing At Southwell Handicap.

Lujiana (25-1) registered a second win over Southwell's flying five furlongs with a clear-cut call in the opening handicap, while promising young rider Andrea Atzeni followed his Lingfield win of 24 hours earlier aboard 5-2 favourite Zeffirelli in the six-furlong handicap.