You can imagine the financial hit – champion jockey on the problem affecting Plumpton, Fontwell Park and others
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High-profile meetings at Ascot for the Grade 1 Clarence House and at Haydock for the Peter Marsh Chase this weekend have fallen victim to the freezing weather that has swept across the country over the past ten days.
In Sussex, meetings at Plumpton and Fontwell have fallen victim to the cold snap and while Johnson revealed that courses take cancellations into consideration perhaps once a season, when it becomes two or three then it becomes a bigger concern - especially for smaller tracks.
Speaking to The Winners Enclosure, Johnson said: “Most courses expect to lose maybe a fixture a year.
“Some may have lost two or three meetings recently and that is a big problem for them. They are businesses and if you suddenly lose say two or three fixtures out of maybe 15 or 16 a year, you can imagine the financial hit.
“The weather has a knock on effect throughout the industry.”
With the Cheltenham Festival on the horizon in March, many trainers will be fine tuning their star runners ahead of the biggest week in horse racing at Prestbury Park.
Superstars such as Jonbon, El Fabiolo and Constitution Hill have seen their preparations for Cheltenham hit by the recent poor weather and Johnson has admitted it is very disappointing.
He added: “January has these big Saturday fixtures and from a jockey’s point of view if you’ve got nice horses to ride and you're missing out, that makes it worse.
“Trainers with top horses will have pin-pointed one of these weekends – whether for example it’s Ascot or Lingfield - to run probably its final race before the Cheltenham Festival.
“It is frustrating because people – especially with the good horses – are planning three or four races in a season before Cheltenham.
“With those grade 1 horses, you’re quite limited anyway in the build up to Cheltenham. A trainer will know the two or three races they are aiming for how the schedule fits in, and try to organise accordingly.
“Even from the run before they will have outlined the route, with maybe six weeks in between, so you back off them for a certain amount of time then build them back up.
“To peak those really good horses is an art. You don’t want them boiling over the top and almost being ready for too long. They are training them literally race by race and their plans will have had to change.
“If they’re able to run the following weekend it is not too much of a problem, but if there is an extended period without racing, then it can be very frustrating.”