Ascot and Haydock 'optimistic'

Today's meeting at Wincanton was abandoned yesterday and although Ascot and Haydock are hopeful of going ahead both courses will hold precautionary inspections at 8am.

The Ascot clerk of the course, Chris Stickels, said yesterday: "We're soft, heavy in places. I was quite optimistic this time yesterday and I remain as optimistic. We've had no rain since 10am." Kirkland Tellwright, the Haydock clerk of the course said: "We've had about five millimetres of rain. Hopefully, it has finished. On that basis we are pretty optimistic." Tomorrow's fixtures at Market Rasen and Towcester have both been abandoned.

In Ireland, today's Naas card is off. Tomorrow's Fairyhouse meeting, which was due to feature the return of the 2005 Gold Cup winner, Kicking King, has been postponed to Wednesday, and Cork is subject to an 8am inspection.