Folkestone offers first glint of hope

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The Independent Online
A blank week for British jumping enthusiasts looks on the cards as all today's scheduled meetings at Fontwell, Newbury, Newcastle and Warwick have succumbed to frost and snow and tomorrow's cards have already started to tumble.

Tomorrow's scheduled meeting at Nottingham has already been abandoned and Catterick (inspection 8.30am) and Newbury (9.30am) both report that their tracks are frozen.

Folkestone, however, holds out a glimmer of hope. "There is a light covering of snow over most of the track, but where this has melted the frost has got into the ground," a course spokesman said. The track will be inspected at noon.

A total of 24 meetings have now been lost this week and, even if temperatures rise over the weekend, forecasters are predicting heavy snowfalls.

Wolverhampton's double programme tomorrow on Fibresand provides a rare gleam of warming news.

Prospects in Ireland are only marginally better. Leopardstown and Limerick - both abandoned yesterday - are due to race again today with prospects rated "50-50 at best" at Limerick and "60-40 against" at Leopardstown.

If Leopardstown can race tomorrow and on Sunday then the cards will include some of the best races that were lost on earlier days of the meeting.

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