FREEZING temperatures are set to play havoc with the National Hunt fixtures scheduled for this week, but the likes of Wolverhampton should be OK provided the dreaded fog stays away.

The Fibresand track at the Midlands venue is designed to withstand virtually everything the British climate can conjure up, helping trainers such as Peter Harris keep his powerful stable ticking over during the winter months.

The ever-shrewd Harris, a multi-millionaire who combines a huge holiday business empire with racehorse training, doesn't miss too many tricks and it looks as if he's found another opportunity for Shore Vision (3.05) to top up his all-weather winnings.

In late November at Southwell, Shore Vision landed some quite hefty wagers when out-battling Norma Macauley's Better Off. Creskeld and Remedy, who finished fifth and sixth, have both won since, putting a real gilt-edge on the value of the form.

Amazingly, the Official Handicapper saw fit to raise Harris's four-year-old only 3lb for the success, handing Shore Vision a clear-cut chance to follow-up.

Last time out he was beaten at Lingfield, but the much quicker Polytrack clearly didn't suit half as well, and he'll be much happier on Wolverhampton's slower ground, much more akin to the one he encountered at Southwell.

The nomadic Gay Kelleway has finally settled back in Newmarket, where she originally made her name as an amateur jockey riding for her late father, Paul, nearly 20 years ago.

Having trained far and wide, including right on the side of the track at Lingfield, plus in the Middle-East, Gay knows a thing or two about sand, either manufactured, or the real stuff found in the desert.

She has certainly brought the best out of Te Quiero (12.35), who is fancied to take the most valuable contest on the card, the opening £12,500 Littlewoods Bet Direct Handicap.

Te Quiero has won three of his last four races, including most recently over course and distance when he could have stopped for a midway cup of tea and still have prevailed, such was his superiority.

Those in high places don't like to see horses score that easily and he's been whacked up a thumping 12lb for his troubles.

But Te Quiero is rapidly developing into a class act and, despite the extra burden he has to shoulder, should have the necessary reserves to maintain his hot streak.

Fontwell needs to pass a 7.30 inspection before racing can go ahead.

Richard Rowe's runners do particularly well at the course and it will be no surprise if Half The Pot (12.45) bounces back to something like his old self in the 2-mile Showcase Handicap Hurdle.

Half The Pot reeled off a fabulous four-timer last season, each time utilising his trade-mark catch-me-if-you-can tactics. He's not been in anything like such good fettle to date this season, but there were distinct signs when fourth on his latest Ascot outing that he was on the comeback trail.

* Jockey Tony Culhane has his sights firmly set on chalking up his first century in 2003 and he opened his New Year account in typically determined fashion at Southwell on Saturday with a double on Mick Channon's pair Tass Heel and Arry Dash.

He brought Tass Heel to take up the running two furlongs out in the Bet Direct On 0800 32 993 93 Handicap, and with his rivals seemingly struggling to get home, he strode away to get his name on the score sheet.

Arry Dash had to work hard to get past Big Luciano in the Bet Direct on Sky Text Page 371 Classified Stakes, but he responded to all Culhane's calls, and getting on top inside the final furlong he went away for a clear-cut win.

Culhane, who missed a month of last season through suspensions, said: ''I had three weeks off after dropping my hands and getting beaten at Pontefract on a horse trained by Mr Hills (Barry). I had a couple of whip bans too and I was off at the busiest time of the season.

''I still ended up with 81 winners, which I thought was pretty good considering everything, and but for that spell on the sidelines I might well have got the hundred.

''I had offers to ride in Macau and India in January and February, but I decided to stay at home, have time with the family and really knuckle down and try to get a few winners in the bag before the turf season.''

* Hereford's planned meeting today became the latest weather casualty when an inspection yesterday afternoon left officials with little option but to concede defeat.

Sedgefield's meeting tomorrow is already off and Leicester faces an inspection at 9.15 this morning.

Sedgefield clerk of the course James Armstrong said: ''We had two to three inches of snow on Friday and it is just sitting there. It isn't even beginning to thaw. The temperature is hovering around zero so it's not shifting it.

''We had a minus three last night and we are forecast minus five tonight and temperatures aren't set to rise until the end of the week, so we had no chance.''

There is some doubt about today's two remaining cards.

Officials at Wolverhampton were to have a precautionary look at 6.30am after sub-zero temperatures on the back of heavy rain caused concern.

Fontwell's card survived an inspection yesterday and clerk of the course Geoff Stickels said: ''We are raceable at the moment.

''As there is the chance of a frost tonight we will be looking again at 7.30 in the morning.

''I'm as happy as I can be apart from the fact that we've got a little bit of frost forecast.''

Today's meeting at Thurles has been abandoned, with a spokeswoman for the Irish track saying: ''Temperatures are not due to rise above minus two so there was no point prolonging the agony.''

No racing took place in Ireland yesterday with Naas deemed unraceable after temperatures dipped sharply overnight.

Newbury's meeting on Wednesday is in doubt after sub-zero-temperatures on Saturday night left parts of the track frozen.

An inspection has been called for 4pm today and clerk of the course Richard Osgood described prospects for racing as ''low''.

''At the moment I'm in front of the stands and most of the frost has come out. But some frost is still there,'' he added