Ascot races called off

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The Independent Online

Racing at Ascot was abandoned because of snow today - with a 4pm inspection also planned ahead of tomorrow's meeting

The Berkshire course was hit with three to four inches of overnight snow, prompting officials to move forward their proposed 8am inspection.

Although frost covers were used over the whole track, clerk of the course Chris Stickels was soon resigned to the loss of today's meeting.

He said: "It was a pretty straightforward decision to abandon today.

"It's been windy and the snow has drifted. There was no way we could get that volume of snow off the covers in time."

Ascot is also due to stage a valuable racecard tomorrow, featuring the BGC Long Walk Hurdle and the Ladbroke, but that meeting is also in serious jeopardy.

Mr Stickels said: "We've got a little bit more snow to come, so we are going to take a look at 4pm this afternoon.

"It won't be easy to race tomorrow, but it may be possible.

"We need to assess things in the cold light of day."