Haydock to inspect at 8am on Thursday as prospects fade for Saturday card

Haydock officials are being "realistic" about the chances of the Saturday card passing an 8am inspection tomorrow, with the course currently waterlogged in places.

The Merseyside track, which is due to stage four Grade 2s including the possible return of dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D'Air, has had a deluge over the past couple of days, with 40mm of rain falling throughout Monday and Tuesday.

A further 20mm is expected to fall on Wednesday and with showers forecast for Thursday and Friday as well as sub-zero temperatures on Friday night, officials will assess the prospects for the Saturday card tomorrow morning.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright said: "You have to be realistic about these things, and even the most optimistic of clerks wouldn't be positive on this one. We've had 55mm over the last of couple of days and today is forecast to be another very wet day and thereafter.

"Places of the track are waterlogged now, but we want to see where we are tomorrow morning and we'll go from there."

However, officials at Ascot are more optimistic the course's Saturday card featuring the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase, will beat the elements.

"We had 1.2mm of rain overnight and 2mm yesterday so there's no change to the ground at this stage," clerk of the course Chris Stickels said.

"It's raining this morning and we're forecast between 12-15mm up to Thursday night, but after that it clears up. It's forecast to get a bit colder on Friday and we may have an overnight frost on raceday morning. I would have thought the ground will be soft, heavy in places if we have the full 15mm in the next couple of days."

The arrival of Storm Christoph is expected to cause further disruption to meetings across Britain and Ffos Las will inspect at 3pm on Wednesday for its scheduled fixture on Friday. 

The Carmarthenshire track had nearly double the expected rainfall it was predicted to receive on Tuesday and the prospect of racing taking place looks bleak.

Clerk of the course Dai Jones said: "Our forecast yesterday was to have up to 16mm of rain, but we had 30mm instead and there's a good chance that on Wednesday afternoon of rain descending on us again.

"It's currently raining and we could have more tonight, but the worse rain will be more inland and on higher ground, so we thought we'd have a look as well.

"Currently we have water standing in a couple of places and we need it to be dry from today onwards and get a picture of what is to come. We're hoping we could miss the worst of it, but we need help from the weather to dry us out."

Wednesday's meeting at Chepstow will go ahead after the track was deemed raceable at a morning inspection. 

Officials at the Monmouthshire track called for a 7.30am check yesterday following 12mm of rain on Monday night with persistent rain expected up until raceday morning, but despite 20mm falling at the track in the last 24 hours, racing will take place with the ground described as heavy.

No more significant rain is expected before the first of seven races at 1.05pm, but testing conditions will be in store with a GoingStick reading of 2.6 on the chase course and 2.5 on the hurdles track.

The wet weather has meant fences five and six in the back straight on the chase course will be omitted due to some standing water in places.

Clerk of the course Libby O'Flaherty said: "We've had 20mm of rain in the past 24 hours, and overnight we had 10mm. There is patchy rain forecast throughout the day and they'll be bypassing the water jump and the fence after it due to the wet ground.

"The chase course will ride heavier than the hurdles course, with the hurdles track we're lucky because we've got quite a lot of fresh ground. It's going to be very testing, wet, heavy ground, but it's lovely we can stage racing."

Testing conditions will also be in store at the other jumps meeting in Britain on Wednesday at Newbury, with the ground now heavy, soft in places following 10mm of rain overnight and a further 4-6mm expected through the day. 

There are no expected problems at Newcastle, who switched their jumps card to a jumpers' bumper fixture on the all-weather track last week, where the going is standard to slow.

Southwell and Dundalk also stage action on the all-weather on Wednesday evening, with no reported issues and the going is standard at both tracks.

Weather prospects for the week's action in Britain

Lingfield (AW), standard
Ludlow, soft, good to soft in places on chase course
Newcastle (AW), standard to slow
Wincanton, heavy


Chelmsford (AW), standard
Ffos Las, heavy, standing water in places and currently not raceable, inspection 3pm Wednesday
Lingfield (AW), standard
Musselburgh, soft, good to soft in places


Ascot, soft
Haydock, heavy, waterlogged in places, inspection 8am Thursday
Newcastle (AW), standard to slow
Taunton, soft


Hereford, soft
Lingfield (AW), standard