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Newcastle beats the threat of frost to stage Fighting Fifth card

Fri 29 Nov 2019

A high-class card at Newcastle, featuring the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle, will go ahead as planned today following an inspection.

Officials at the Gosforth Park track were able to give the all-clear for the meeting – which sees the return to action of dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’Air – despite temperatures dropping below freezing overnight to a low of minus 4C.

The course had been covered since Thursday, and the news will come as a great relief to Buveur D’Air’s trainer Nicky Henderson, whose eight-year-old has used the Fighting Fifth as the starting point for the last two years – beating Samcro by eight lengths 12 months ago.

He had said on Friday: “Let’s just hope the meeting is on.

“I’ve not got a contingency plan, so I’m hoping the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) have one.”

The first of seven races at Newcastle is scheduled for 11.45, and in addition to the Fighting Fifth, highlights also include the Betfair-sponsored Rehearsal Chase at 3.20.

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