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Sandown refuse to give up hope

SANDOWN officials have not given up hope of staging tomorrow's jumps meeting, despite having to call a morning inspection as areas of the course are waterlogged.

Slightly more rain than expected fell overnight that has just about taken the Esher venue to saturation point, but generally the course has taken the deluge remarkably well.

What Sandown wants is just a little help from nature to give the fixture, featuring the 32Red Tolworth Hurdle Novices' Hurdle, a sporting chance of going ahead. Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper has conceded, however, that he may have to bring the 7.30am Saturday inspection forward to today if wet conditions returned.

"We are hanging in there at the moment and just need help from the weather in the next 12- to 24-hour period. It's only right and proper we give it every chance of getting it on and do our best to do so, but it's going to be a close call," he said.

Wincanton's fixture tomorrow is now subject to a 7am precautionary inspection on raceday morning. Officials at the Somerset venue need to assess conditions a second time following a successful inspection today.

Although the going is heavy, with some standing water on the chase course, the track was, at this stage, deemed fit for racing.