Energumene against Edwardstone at Ascot meeting on Saturday lost to the weather
Written by First Choice Radio on 19 January 2023
It’s been abandoned due to a frozen track – Haydock on Saturday is also in doubt
A mouthwatering clash between Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Energumene and Arkle victor Edwardstone will not take place this weekend after Saturday’s meeting at Ascot was abandoned due to a frozen track.
The two-mile chasing juggernauts were due to lock horns in the Grade One LK Bennett Clarence House Chase, but the Berkshire track has been unraceable since Tuesday morning.
Clerk of the course Chris Stickels announced an inspection for 4pm on Thursday to assess the prospects of racing and ultimately had no option but to call off proceedings.
He said: “There was not sufficient improvement, the track remains unraceable and given the forecast and where we are right now, there’s no chance of us being raceable for Saturday.”
Whether the Clarence House Chase is rescheduled remains to be seen – but Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father Willie, confirmed the intention for Energumene to travel over if the race is switched to a different venue.
“If it is lost we hope it is rescheduled and the plan would still be to go over. It fits in well with his programme,” he told Sky Sports Racing.
“He’s in great form, he worked well at the Curragh on Tuesday, he worked well this morning and we’re fit and ready to rock.”
Saturday’s other high-profile fixture at Haydock is also in doubt.
The Merseyside venue is due to stage four Grade Two events, including The New One Unibet Hurdle and Peter Marsh Chase, but snow overnight prompted clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright to call a noon inspection on Friday to assess whether racing can go ahead.
He said: “We have had half an inch of snow overnight with a frost, so things are not looking as good as they were.
“We have called an inspection for noon tomorrow and we would need to see the snow gone by then if we are to persevere.
“It depends on which forecast you look at – on the most optimistic it’s just about feasible, but on the most pessimistic we will be beaten.”
Jumps action is also scheduled at Taunton on Saturday, with officials calling an 8am precautionary inspection on raceday.
There will be no turf racing in Britain on Friday – a fourth successive blank day – as Market Rasen called off their card following a noon inspection on Thursday.
The meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday and will have the bumper due to feature the exciting Queens Gamble carried forward. A further Ffos Las fixture has also been added to the calendar for January 23.
Published: by Radio NewsHub