Racing: Weather threat to Boxing Day cards

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The Independent Online
Racing goes into a brief hibernation today as horses and riders take a four-day break before resuming on Boxing Day. The weather, though, may put paid to some holiday plans with the Met office predicting a spell of colder weather on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day night.

Mark Kershaw, the secretary at Ayr - which is due to stage a Boxing Day card - and at Edinburgh - which has a Wednesday fixture - gloomily reported: "We could not have raced at either today because of frost. Although there is a thaw predicted for the weekend, the weather is due to turn colder again around Christmas Eve. We are going to have to wait until Sunday before looking again."

Charlie Moore, the man in the hot seat at Market Rasen, said: "The track is raceable at the moment and we have had a dusting of sleet." However, he is taking the precaution of applying straw to the take-off sides of the fences and hurdles and sheeting to the landing sides. to combat forecast frost

One holiday-season switch is scheduled for the improving Lo Stregone, who will miss the Welsh National on Wednesday to test the mettle of Jodami in Wetherby's Rowland Meyrick Chase the previous day.

"We don't think that he will be suited by a slogging match at Chepstow," his trainer, Tom Tate, said of the horse that beat Unguided Missile last time. "He has improved this season and I can only put it down to the fact that he had a bone out in a fetlock joint last season."