Towcester’s Blue Riband card was called off at the last minute due to the condition of the racing surface.

Track spokesman Nathan Corden said: “We are absolutely gutted. Most of the track was raceable but it is the coldest night of the winter at around -4 degrees, and there were sections on the outside that were starting to get too firm. Given the temperatures are still falling, it wasn’t a chance that anyone was prepared to take.

“We can understand the disappointment of all those trainers who have driven here tonight and Kevin (Boothby) is giving each of them £75 towards their expenses. We have checked the weather forecast for the next couple of days and Monday looks dodgy so we are provisionally looking at Tuesday for the first round. All the subscriptions to the video service will be able to watch racing on that day.

“That has been the biggest plus point on a disappointing day. I don’t have the final figure, but the last I heard there were over 1,600 subscriptions. Clearly, the concept has been well received.”