Fakenham's New Year racing abandoned

Chris HillFakenham's showpiece New Year's Day race meeting has been abandoned due to frost.Officials called off the event following an 8am course inspection as a sharp overnight frost made the course unfit for the horses.Chris Hill

Fakenham's showpiece New Year's Day race meeting has been abandoned due to frost.

Officials called off the event following an 8am course inspection as a sharp overnight frost made the course unfit for the horses.

The six-race card was due to start at 12.40pm and was expected to bring one of Fakenham's biggest crowds of the season.

Clerk of the course David Hunter said: 'We had two degrees last night, which is not a huge amount, but it has got into the exposed soil and the forecast is still hovering around zero for the rest of the morning.

'It doesn't give us confidence the frost will come out of the ground in time, so it is not raceable.'

The cancelled event would have been the second New Year's Day meeting following a successful introduction to 2009's race schedule.

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'After Easter Monday, it has established itself as the second most popular meeting, and if we had been able to race today we would have had a lot of people here,' said Mr Hunter. 'We had a really good card, but the weather has got the better of us.

'It is not a question of being able to re-schedule it - it is lost.'