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'It's all systems go'- no concerns at Taunton for Peterborough Chase card


UK jump racing will resume with a bang after two blank days in Britain as Taunton welcomes the transferred Peterborough Chase on Thursday.

Seven of the eight scheduled jumps fixtures since Saturday have been lost with frost and snow claiming meetings at Ayr and Uttoxeter on Tuesday and Hexham and Leicester on Wednesday.

But Taunton provides an oasis of mild weather in Somerset and chief executive Bob Young said on Tuesday afternoon: "We haven't seen anything to worry us, we're raceable today.

"We're very lucky where we are, we seem to have our own microclimate, everywhere round us is frozen and snowed in and we've got temperatures of 9C, no freezing overnight, and it's all systems go."

The going was reported to be good to soft, good in places in advance of Thursday's card, which features the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase, salvaged from Sunday's cancelled meeting at Huntingdon.

All bar two of the final Huntingdon field has been put in the £50,000 contest, including last month's Ascot Grade 2 winner Top Notch, who is among ten entries. However, Cue Card is set to wait for the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Regarding hosting the Grade 2, Young said: "You have to take your luck where you get it, we're extremely excited and this is fantastic for a small place like us. But without shouting from the rooftops we have done our best over the years.

"We're a right-handed track, the same as Huntingdon, and the ground is good, which backs up our policy of not watering in the autumn – sometimes there is a pay back and this is one."

Thursday's meeting at Newcastle hinges on an 8am inspection on raceday morning, while Warwick inspects at 8am on Wednesday for Thursday's card.

Warwick clerk of the course Jane Hedley said on Tuesday: "We can't be any more than hopeful. We have a covering of snow. It is due to get milder this evening and there is rain around, with the most optimistic temperatures around 5C – it's a watching brief and we'll know a lot more by the time of the inspection."


WEATHER PROSPECTS


WEDNESDAY

HEXHAM: Cancelled

KEMPTON (AW): No problems anticipated

LEICESTER: Cancelled

LINGFIELD (AW): No problems anticipated

WOLVERHAMPTON (AW): Equine areas to be made safe for card switched from Tuesday

THURSDAY

CHELMSFORD (AW): Heavy rain and warmer temperatures expected to thaw remaining snow on Wednesday

NEWCASTLE: Inspection 8am Thursday, frozen in places but frost sheets down and temperature due to rise to 5C on Wednesday

TAUNTON: No problems anticipated

WARWICK: Inspection 8am Wednesday, snow cover in most areas

FRIDAY

BANGOR: Course remains covered in snow but temperatures are forecast to rise – "optimistic but not confident"

CHELMSFORD (AW): Heavy rain and warmer temperatures expected to thaw remaining snow on Wednesday

CHELTENHAM: Course remains covered in snow but milder weather and rain is forecast

DONCASTER: Vulnerable areas covered and no concerns for Friday judged on latest forecast, though slight frost expected ahead of Saturday's card.

 

 

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