Cards fall as frost attacks

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The British Horseracing Board's notion of expanding racing on the first day of the year from six to eight meetings has been opposed by the weather. Three of the cards scheduled for today, at Catterick, Leicester and Market Rasen, were called off yesterday because of frost and snow and the meetings at Ayr, Cheltenham and Windsor are under threat.

At Cheltenham there will be an inspection at 8.00am, but the clerk of the course, Philip Arkwright, was in optimistic mood yesterday. "We could have raced today," he said. "But with frost forecast we will hold a precautionary inspection."

At Windsor, a racecourse spokesman said: "We had minus two degrees of frost overnight and we are forecast the same again tonight and then four degrees above freezing in the morning. If that's the case we've got no problems." There will be a precautionaryinspection at 7.30am.

At Ayr, officials will look at the track at first light. The clerk of the course, Sam Morshead, said: "We are forecast between minus two and minus three tonight. If it is only minus two we will be all right. If it is four we will be off."

No problems are reported at Exeter and Southwell.