Heavy snow forces late Doncaster cancellation

By Sports Desk February 08, 2024

This afternoon’s meeting at Doncaster has been called off due to heavy snow.

Having initially passed an early morning inspection, snow began to fall about an hour before the first race.

As the opening contest approached at 12.55pm, it was snowing heavily and by the time the jockeys had entered the paddock to mount, an inspection was called.

A deputation of course officials, jockeys and stewards went out on the track but even in the short time that took, visibility was getting worse and the meeting was soon abandoned.

Clerk of the course Paul Barker told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s very disappointing.

“I walked it this morning it was nice and we’d had nothing overnight. I walked it again at 10.30am with the stewards panel chair and it had just started to sleet and no snow but nothing was settling.

“Jockeys were arriving and so were the trainers and all were happy.

“Then about 45 minutes before the first, the snow started falling heavier and never really stopped.

“Concerns were raised by everybody during the inquiry and I spoke to the weather station who said we had about 45 minutes more snow and then it wasn’t going to thaw.

“You just can’t beat Mother Nature.”

Doncaster was not the only fixture called off on raceday, with officials at Thurles cancelling their card due to heavy rain.

Friday’s fixture at Kempton is also subject to a precautionary inspection at 7.30am due to the threat of rain, while Bangor’s card will have to pass an initial 4pm inspection with the course currently waterlogged.

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