Fears growing Ascot's blockbuster Saturday racing will be cancelled as freezing cold snap decimates fixtures | The Sun

FEARS are growing that Ascot's blockbuster Saturday racing – including the Clarence House Chase – will be cancelled.

A freezing cold snap has decimated fixtures in UK and Ireland.

There is no jumps racing anywhere on Thursday with Wincanton, Ludlow and Fairyhouse abandoned.

Market Rasen will hold an inspection at noon today to see if tomorrow's racing can happen.

While Lingfield have already cancelled the first day of their three-day Winter Millions meeting.

Ascot bosses will inspect their track at 4pm to see if it has thawed out sufficiently for Saturday.

The big race is set to see Willie Mullins' Champion Chase hero Energumene take on Edwardstone.

But with the sub-zero temperatures likely to remain until the weekend, clerk of the course Chris Stickels admitted it's not looking good.

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And he ruled out the prospect of pushing everything back to Sunday.

He said: "The forecast for today suggests we will get up to five degrees but we're still unraceable this morning.

"If there isn't significant improvement through today, and with temperatures similarly below zero for the next two nights, there won't be any chance we'll be fit for racing by Saturday.

"If it does improve sufficiently today, we'll keep going.

"There's a similar forecast for Saturday night so there's no option to move to Sunday.

"The thaw doesn't come until Monday going by the forecast."

Haydock will inspect at midday on Friday to see if their Saturday action can go head.

The track was under half an inch of snow on Thursday morning.

That means key races including the Champion Hurdle Trial and Peter Marsh Chase are hanging in the balance.

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