Racing: Turf may be back on cards

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The Independent Online
Racing on turf looks set to resume at Musselburgh today, provided the course passes a 7.30am inspection. Frost and snow have prevented any action away from Britain's three all-weather venues since the Edinburgh course's fixture on 27 December.

The same track suffered a late abandonment last Saturday but the clerk of the course, Mark Kershaw, is confident today's fixture will proceed. "It has been raining today, we haven't had any frost and the course is raceable with the temperature rising to 4C," he said.

Tomorrow's valuable cards at Ascot and Warwick have been lost to the weather, but prospects for Newcastle are brighter. Channel 4 will now televise five races from Wolverhampton and two from Leopardstown.

The British Horseracing Board yesterday announced further measures to assist racing following the number of meetings lost during the freeze, enhancing the value of certain prizes.

Doncaster's November Handicap meeting is to be restored as the traditional end-of-season card. The Monday Folkestone fixture that has closed recent campaigns has been switched to September.

Kieran Gaule, who rode Strong Promise to win the First National Bank Gold Cup, has left his job as stable jockey to Geoff Hubbard and has moved to Newmarket. The 23-year-old will be replaced by Tony McCoy aboard Strong Promise.

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