Optimism for New Year Sprint go-ahead

Prospects for the 142nd New Year Sprint being successfully completed at Musselburgh Racecourse as per schedule on Friday and New Year's Day have brightened considerably.

Promoter Frank Hanlon gave the go-ahead for the heats of the 142nd annual professional handicap to take place on Friday.

With forecasts of 6C for Saturday, he is optimistic that both the National Hunt Meeting and the athletics will go ahead, although a decision on the racing is dependant on an official course inspection. "Most of the snow has gone and the running track will be fine," said Hanlon.

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Last year, the horseracing was cancelled due to frost and the second day's athletics was watched by a much-reduced crowd of a few hundred.