Racing: Frost threat to Ascot card

TRACKS ARE braced for a hard frost which could threaten tomorrow's racing programme. Frost is forecast around the country for tonight.

Ascot's clerk of the course, Nick Cheyne, is hopeful that the meeting will go ahead. "The course is perfectly raceable today but there is a forecast of rain and then it is going to get colder,'' he said yesterday afternoon.

"They say there is going to be a hard frost on Friday night, but hopefully we'll be able to cope with that; one night's frost is often not enough to cause a problem. We'll be protecting the crossings and the landing and take-off sides of the fences.''

At Uttoxeter, where racing is due today and tomorrow, David McAllister, the clerk of the course, said: "There is a danger of frost on Friday night, but the weatherman told me this morning that it's not written in stone. We might be all right and I am still cautiously optimistic."

Warwick are also due to race on Saturday and the course manager, Christian Leech, commented: "There is a frost coming soon, but they don't know whether it will be on Friday or Saturday night and I hope it's the latter."

n Tony McCoy, on the sidelines with a badly bruised right arm since a fall on Monday, was back to form in brilliant fashion at Exeter yesterday. He showed all his skill and strength to persuade Magic Dancer, his only ride of the afternoon, to hold off the persistent challenge of Boundtohonour. The runner-up, ridden by 3lb-claimer Henry Oliver, appeared to be travelling much the better for most of the home straight. "I'm still a bit sore, but I'll be riding on Friday and Saturday, no problem," McCoy declared later.

RICHARD EDMONDSON

Nap: Lord Khalice

(Uttoxeter 12.50)

NB: Garolsa

(Uttoxeter 1.50)

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