Optimism in Ayr forecast

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The weather refuses to loosen its grip on racing and today's cards at Huntingdon and Wincanton are the latest to fall.

Prospects are equally poor for tomorrow on turf with Bangor already abandoned and Newbury likely to follow suit after an 8am inspection today. If, or when, Saturday's meeting at the Berkshire track is called off, the card, including the Tote Gold Trophy, will be lost as it has been decided that it is impractical to transfer to another day.

Of Saturday's other cards, Uttoxeter's hopes are dismal, but at Catterick prospects are assessed at 50-50. The forecast also encourages some optimism that Ayr's fixture may go ahead.

n Jacques Wertheimer, owner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winners Ivanjica (1976) and Gold River (1981), has died in his Paris home at the age of 85.