Pontefract abandoned because of fuel crisis

Today's meeting at Pontefract has been abandoned, falling victim to the fuel crisis because the ambulance service were unable to guarantee the necessary cover.

Today's meeting at Pontefract has been abandoned, falling victim to the fuel crisis because the ambulance service were unable to guarantee the necessary cover.

"We explored the possibility of using other services," said Norman Gundill, clerk of the course at the Yorkshire track, "but we were advised by the Jockey Club and the Racecourse Association that the others might not be up to the necessary standard. I've got to agree with the advice as safety is paramount."

Today's other meetings - at Ayr and Yarmouth - are set to escape unscathed. Announcements regarding Friday's racing - meetings are scheduled for Ayr, Newbury and Nottingham - will be made around midday today. Newbury and Nottingham are both hopeful of going ahead.

Ayr is poised for the start of its prestigious three-day Western Meeting. "At the moment it's all systems go," said Richard Pridham, the clerk of the course at Ayr. "I haven't heard of any trainers who can't get their runners here, so it's all set for an excellent meeting now."

One change enforced by the fuel crisis is to put back to 10am on Friday the declaration deadline for the Ayr Gold Cup and Ayr Silver Cup. Declarations were due to have taken place at the 24-hours stage.

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