Kempton will keep date with Kauto next month

At this rate, Ruby Walsh will be back to claim the ride on Kauto Star before a thaw sets in. The William Hill King George VI Chase was postponed for a second time yesterday, and Kauto Star must now wait until 15 January to make his unprecedented attempt to gain a fifth consecutive success in the sport's midwinter championship. His regular jockey, recuperating from a broken leg, will have been more or less unique in his immunity to the communal sense of anticlimax.

The race has twice found sanctuary at Sandown Park over the past 15 years, from frost in 1995 and track renovation in 2005, but this time Kempton has managed to retain the biggest race in its calendar.

That seems especially fitting, given that the King George has become very much a "home game" for Kauto Star, whose relish for the place has taken him to the brink of history. And none, equally, will begrudge the course management and ground staff, after all their endeavours over Christmas came to nothing.

Brian Clifford, the clerk of the course, admitted defeat shortly before the scheduled 2pm inspection yesterday after the forecast had proved too optimistic. Overnight temperatures had reached -7C. "And whereas we were forecast 1C and 2C during Sunday, it hasn't got above -2C and was still -5C in the middle of the morning," Clifford explained.

"Not only are the protective covers still frozen to the grass, there is now frost in the ground because of the longevity of these frosts. We would need daytime temperatures tomorrow to be above zero quite early, in order for the covers to be removed in time, and that just isn't going to happen."

Paul Nicholls, trainer of Kauto Star, reassured the horse's fans that he would not be inconvenienced by a new date. "It will be no problem at all," Nicholls told Racing UK. "He has only had one run this season and if it's just another couple of weeks ticking over in his work, he'll be fine. Everyone's been disrupted, but we've just been getting them out later – most days from 12 o'clock until four. As regards work, they've missed absolutely nothing. They're all fit and ready to go."

The big holiday focus will now be on Leopardstown, where they are anticipating an imminent thaw. The track has been under 10 inches of snow, however, and the management is hoping to squeeze as much as possible into three or two days, starting either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Among the big names scheduled to appear at the meeting is Zaidpour, who has a rescheduled opportunity on Wednesday.

Hopes for a resumption of jump racing in Britain likewise depend on a thaw from the west. There is a degree of optimism for Ffos Las tomorrow, while the clerk of the course at Taunton is already "bullish" for Thursday. A good card at Newbury on Wednesday depends heavily on the timely arrival of milder weather.

Turf account

* Chris McGrath's Nap

Minor Transgression (3.35 Southwell) Yet to win a race, but a career best over course and distance last time suggested that his American genes are coming good on this surface.

Next best

Reachtothestars (12.10 Southwell) Caught the eye on only his second start for this yard last time and is also bred to relish the switch to this surface.

One to watch

Asterisk (John Berry) has a decent middle-distance pedigree and suggested her initial rating may not be beyond her when keeping on from the rear under a novice rider at Lingfield on Wednesday.

Where the money's going

Zaidpour is 4-1 from 9-2 with William Hill for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, while Noland is 25-1 from 50-1 for the Ryanair Chase.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers