Southwell's card hit by raft of non-runners

Fri 2 Mar 2018

Travel difficulties look set to impact on Southwell's jumpers' bumpers card with Charbel the most high-profile of a raft of non-runners.

Kim Bailey's charge was set to be joined by two stablemates on his trip to Nottinghamshire, but the Andoversford trainer has been badly affected by overnight snow.

He tweeted: "My runners at Southwell will be staying in their boxes today. Not safe to travel even if we do manage to dig them out of the drive."

Bailey is not the only handler based in the south west to be impacted by the snow, with Charlie Longsdon and Kerry Lee also withdrawing their Southwell runners, along with South Wales-based trainer Tim Vaughan.

With 12 non-runners due to travel reasons by 9.30am, clerk of the course Roderick Duncan thinks it is up to the individual trainers as to whether they want to make the trip to Southwell.

He told At The Races: "Our track is raceable, we have had less snow than everywhere else. Our temperatures overnight have certainly not been as low as other parts of the country - we only just got down to minus 1C last night.

"All the roads into the racecourse are now passable and our track over the last three days has been worked pretty much 24 hours to make sure that doesn't freeze up. We are in fairly good order.

"Obviously trainers have to make their own risk assessment as to whether they want to travel their horses. Our job is just to facilitate racing and we are in a position to do that today for anyone who can and wants to take part.

"I've had conversations with Donald McCain, Brian Ellison, John Norton; and John Norton has worked hard himself to get his vehicle out of the yard. He said once he got on to the main roads, the travelling has been OK.

"Brian Ellison said his runners are on their way and he doesn't anticipate any problems.

"I think there is a separate issue for those trainers travelling from the south west as the conditions there are possibly slightly worse than they are for trainers in this area and further north."

The track also tweeted: "Having carefully reviewed the current situation here at Southwell and spoken to a number of trainers whose horses are currently travelling to the racecourse, the decision is for racing to go ahead."

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