Turf prospects are on thin ice

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The Independent Online
National Hunt followers face a bleak week with the cold snap likely to rule out any action on turf until Thursday at the earliest. Severe frost, which claimed yesterday's Newton Abbot card and today's fixtures at Warwick and Carlisle, also threatens tomorrow's meetings at Ascot and Ludlow.

Ascot, where there is a heavy frost in the ground, will hold an inspection at 11.30am today to determine the fate of the televised Reynoldstown Chase meeting, while it is an equally gloomy picture at Ludlow, where the inspection will be at 9am today. Only at Ayr, where they are due to race on Saturday, is there any optimism.

Even Wolverhampton's all-weather Flat fixture tomorrow is in slight doubt due to forecast snow, although the clerk of the course, Ashley Bealby, said: "We should be all right provided the snow is fairly steady."