Racing: Tracks guard against freezing conditions

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Officials at nine of the 10 racecourses offering Boxing Day fare were desperately hoping that the predicted cold snap which was expected to sweep the country last night was not enough to cause major problems for their meetings.

Six tracks, Hereford, Huntingdon, Kempton, Sedgefield, Towcester and Wincanton called early morning precautionary inspections but most courses could have raced yesterday.

The day's big meeting at Kempton looked likely to go ahead with the clerk of the course, Brian Clifford, describing the conditions as good at the Sunbury track. "We've had four millimetres of rain and the ground is good," Clifford said yesterday before adding a warning. "However, there has been a prediction of a temperature of -3C, which is two degrees lower than originally expected, and in view of this we will hold a precautionary inspection at 7.30 in the morning.

Racegoers are advised to check the meeting they are attending is on before setting off.

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