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Racecourse delays opening after poor weather

Brighton Racecourse has been forced to delay the start to its flat racing season - due to the severe weather.

Course managers said poor grass growth following the prolonged wet and cold weather has meant its first three meetings of the year on April 25, May 2 and May 7 have all had to be relocated.

We have been closely monitoring the track throughout the closed period and really it is case of severe weather having had quite an effect on a very exposed surface.

This has meant the grass just hasn’t grown or recovered from last season and we would prefer not to race on it at the moment.

– Ed Arkell, course clerk

Extra ground work, including spraying for various pest infestations recently prevalent in Sussex, will now take place before racing begins on May 21.

The cancelled meetings will instead take place at Lingfield, Chepstow and Yarmouth respectively.

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Newbury racecourse: the going is good

Officials draw back the protective covers on the racecourse Credit: ITV News Meridian

Racing will go ahead at Newbury today, despite the bad weather.

The track passed an early morning inspection after officials covered the entire length of the track with frost sheets a few days ago to protect it from temperatures which fell to minus 3 overnight.

80 extra ground staff were bought in to help.

The first race will go ahead as planned at 12:50

Racing at Fontwell is on after inspection

The Boxing Day meeting at Fontwell is on after an inspection this morning. Going will be heavy. The forecast is dry this morning, with rain in the afternoon. Travel advice below.

A27 Eastbound closed between A285 Portfield Roundabout (Sainsbury's/John Lewis turning) to the Tangmere Roundabout. Alternative route is to take the Westhampnett turning from Portfield Roundabout, then follow directions for Petworth. At T junction, follow signs for Worthing A27.

Course inspection at Fontwell Park

Fontwell's Boxing Day race card hangs in the balance Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Image

Today's racing card at Fontwell Park is in the balance until the course has been checked at 8am. A big crowd is expected at the Sussex course with all the hospitality packages sold out. More info can be found at http://www.fontwellpark.co.uk/

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Final day of racing at Folkestone

Folkestone race course Credit: ITV news

Today could be the last time horses will race at Folestone racecourse if future investment in the course is not secured. Folkestone is the last racecourse in Kent and staff say it would be an end of an era if it were to close.

The owners of the course had hoped to build more than eight hundred homes on the site as a way of generating money for a substantial redevelopment. But these proposals were rejected by Shepway District Council.

For more sports news visit ITV Sport.

Frankel - the wonder horse!

Frankel was at his majestic best as he made it a perfect 14 victories in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. The world's highest-rated racehorse, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won his 10th Group One race with a trademark display of pure brilliance - despite being slowly away from the stalls.

Sent off the 2-11 favourite, Khalid Abdullah's wonder colt took up the running from Cirrus Des Aigles over a furlong out under his ever-present jockey Tom Queally and pulled away from the French raider to win cosily by a length and three-quarters.

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