Cold snap sees off racing at Chepstow and Newbury

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With temperatures falling dramatically across the country for the second big cold snap of the winter, Chepstow and Newbury were added to Fontwell on Monday as meetings lost this week. Chepstow were due to inspect at 7.30am but the decision to abandon was taken before then after it reached -6C overnight at the Monmouthshire venue. Conditions at Newbury were already testing after over 60 millimetres of rain in the past week. However, it was frost that put the nail in the coffin, with a -4C on Monday night and another hard frost forecast for Tuesday, with -5C possible. Clonmel's meeting in Ireland on Tuesday did survive an inspection, though. Plumpton will inspect at 2pm on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's meeting. Frost covers are down but it reached -6C on Monday with temperatures not getting above freezing until 10am with a possible high of 3C. Tuesday evening is not set to be as cold with -2C forecast. The going report read: "Temperatures dropped much lower than forecasted overnight. With frozen areas will inspect at 2pm hoping to see improvement, with the feeling if the frozen areas come out today we would have a good chance with temperatures not forecasted to drop as low tonight." Lingfield's Winter Million meeting on Friday looks in some doubt, however. The entire track was covered on Monday but it is frozen under the covers after a -6.7C last night. The going report states: "Highs of +1/+3C today. Cold spell continues with averaging -2/-5C overnight and day time highs of between +3/+5C. Will need some good luck from what the latest forecast states." Ascot's Clarence House Chase card on Saturday is being protected by frost sheets on the take offs and landings and the shaded area in the home straight. While temperatures are due to be below freezing every night this week, daytime temperatures of of 4C offer encouragement. Haydock reports that temperatures in the Merseyside area are due to rise towards the end of the week, although there is a risk of snow on Wednesday.

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