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Weather watch: Haydock gets green light but Navan forced to abandon

Sat 23 Jan 2021

Haydock’s Peter Marsh meeting will go ahead after the course passed an early-morning inspection.

Saturday’s seven-race card was subject to a scheduled 8am check because of the threat of frost, having already survived the ravages of the midweek Storm Christoph.

However, the inspection was brought forward to 7am, and a Tweet from Haydock’s official account confirmed shortly after 7.15am that the course was fit for racing.

Taunton’s eight-race card was given the go-ahead before a scheduled 8am inspection there too, as overnight conditions relented sufficiently.

Haydock will stage four Grade Two events, including the feature Peter Marsh Handicap Chase – while dual champion hurdler Buveur D’Air makes his long-awaited return from injury against just two rivals in the The New One Unibet Hurdle.

An update from the track read: “Today’s precautionary inspection has passed! The Going is Heavy.”

Temperatures had been forecast to fall below freezing overnight, but they did not do so.

There remains a “slight chance of sleety snow flurries” at the Merseyside venue – but Haydock’s card, which had already passed a Thursday inspection after being waterlogged in places earlier in the week, will get under way at 12.55.

The ground at Taunton is soft, heavy in places – as it is at Ascot, where the Grade One Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House is the highlight of a seven-race card.

Unfortunately, Navan's seven-race card for this afternoon has been abandoned due to frozen ground.

A tweet from @ihrb_ie on Saturday morning said:

"Following an inspection this morning, the track at @NavanRacecourse remains frozen and unfit for racing. With temperatures remaining low this morning, the fixture scheduled for today has been cancelled."

Racing also goes ahead at Ascot where the going is soft, heavy in places, with the Clarence House Chase taking centre stage at 3.35pm.

There is also a seven-race card on the all-weather at Newcastle which gets underway at 4.05pm.

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