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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Peddlers Cross

No extra entries were received for the reopened StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial, rescheduled for Doncaster this weekend.

The race was saved from Haydock's abandoned card last week, but unfortunately Doncaster's meeting is also in the balance due to the freeze.

If the meeting were to take place, a cracking contest is in store with 2010 Champion Hurdle hero Binocular and 2011 runner-up Peddlers Cross among the entries, although the former is also in at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Last season's Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame, the classy Grandouet and the Alan King-trained duo of Raya Star and Balder Succes add further strength to the seven possibles. Sue Smith's Mwaleshi completes the list.

Prospects for Doncaster's feature meeting of the jumps season taking place have taken a turn for the worse, however.

Officials at the track sounded upbeat on Monday about the chances of an improvement in the weather coming in time to save Saturday's card, although Friday's meeting is subject to a 10am inspection on Wednesday. However, the forecast has now changed and confidence has dipped.

"I'm nowhere near as confident as I was," said clerk of the course Roderick Duncan.

"The forecast predicted a rise in temperatures from Thursday onwards, with rain moving in Friday night into Saturday morning. Now they are saying the rain will not reach us until Saturday afternoon or evening.

"We are forecast daytime temperatures in the positives, but we need a lot of help to shift the snow.

"There have been a few conversations about trying to rearrange the meeting, but I don't think they have come to anything as it is logistically very difficult. We may get a different forecast this afternoon, we just have to hope they are wrong." The course is still covered by five inches of snow.

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