Ascot forced to abandon

This afternoon's high-profile fixture at Ascot has been abandoned due to a frozen track.

Ascot has been forced to abandon today's meeting

The popular venue was due to stage an attractive card featuring the Berkshire Community Foundation Clarence House Chase, in which Irish challenger Un De Sceaux was set to bid for back-to-back victories.

However, though the track was completely covered with frost covers earlier in the week, the ground remained frozen on Friday and clerk of the course Chris Stickels was pessimistic about the chances of the meeting going ahead after calling an early-morning inspection.

Officials staged an official check at 6.30am and it did not take them long to draw stumps.

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Stickels said: "We've had to abandon, unfortunately.

"It dipped down to minus 3C overnight, which is what was forecast.

"It's less cold at the moment, but temperatures could fall again at dawn and we're only due to get up to plus 2C or 3C today.

"We had similar temperatures on Friday morning and got up to plus 6C in the afternoon and we still weren't raceable, so we've got no chance today."

Stickels confirmed on Friday discussions were under way about the possibility of rescheduling the Clarence House Chase for a later date.

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