Saturday 21 April 2018

Race courses in Ireland and UK subject to inspection due to rain

BELLEWSTWON are to hold a precautionary inspection at 7.30am tomorrow ahead of the second of a scheduled three-day fixture.

Both Haydock and Beverley are hoping for a rapid improvement in conditions in order for their Saturday cards to go ahead.

The tracks may be on opposite sides of the Pennines, but both fell victim to the heavy band of rain that swept the country on Friday.

Although racing went ahead as planned on Friday evening it was on heavy ground and rain overnight is forecast at the County Meath track.

Saturday evening's seven-race card is due off at 5.25pm and Sunday's programme is set for a 2.35pm start.

In the UK. Haydock's card is one of the highlights on Saturday with the bet365 Lancashire Oaks and the Old Newton Cup the feature events.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright will have to assess the ground at 7am and he is hoping to see a massive improvement in the waterlogged areas.

He said: "We've had an inch of rain this morning and it has been coming from all angles so the low-lying spots have standing water in them.

"We just need a few dry hours for things to settle down and the tide to go out!

"We are hopeful for tomorrow and will have a look in the morning."

Beverley were also forced to admit defeat in the battle to stage their evening card after the track received more rain than anticipated.

Despite passing an initial 2pm inspection, clerk of the course Sally Iggulden was forced to abandon the fixture following a rapid deterioration in the ground.

Iggulden said: "We have abandoned tonight's card and we will inspect at 7am for tomorrow, although we are more hopeful for then as we are forecast a dry night.

"We are waterlogged in a few areas and we don't think they will recover in time for racing tonight.

"The forecast we had said rain until 1pm and then the next band was supposed to miss us, but it is very slow moving and we have had more rain than expected."

Saturday meetings at Carlisle and Nottingham have already been called off following 1pm inspections.

Carlisle's General manager Richard Clements said: "We have only had three or four millimetres so far today but that is on top of everything else we have had in the last few weeks.

"We're not raceable today and we would need a couple of dry days to improve, which isn't forecast to happen."

Nottingham clerk of the course Robert Bellamy said: "We have had 35 millimetres of rain since 5am on ground that was already soft.

"It's still raining now and the forecast does not look much better.

"There are areas of waterlogging which will not disappear in time for racing tomorrow."

Heavy rain also accounted for Wexford's Friday evening meeting as well as a planned Arab racing fixture at Brighton on Saturday.

Racing went ahead on heavy ground at Bellewstown but more rain is forecast and the track will inspect at 7am.

No problems are anticipated at Sandown on Saturday, with the Esher track hosting the Group One Coral-Eclipse Stakes.

Although the ground was eased to good to soft after some showers, Sandown seems to have missed the worst of the weather.

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