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Catterick forced to call 8am inspection for Wednesday's fixture

Wednesday's turf meeting will hinge on Catterick surviving an 8am inspection, but there is hope Thursday's fixtures may fare better despite the ongoing wet weather.

Significant rainfall meant Nottingham joined Sedgefield, which was called off last week, on the list of cancelled meetings on Wednesday's fixture list, and Catterick will be under threat if the track receives the higher end of the forecast rain.

Catterick was hit with 10mm of rain on Monday, leaving the ground soft, heavy in places, and with the potential for a further 10-15mm overnight and through Wednesday, clerk of the course Fiona Needham felt it best to provide an update on Tuesday morning.

"The ground is soft, heavy in places but perfectly raceable," said Needham. "The only reason I've called a precautionary inspection for the morning is the forecast looks quite wet.

"We could get another half an inch, so it just depends on what we get. The forecasts have been jumping about all over the place recently, so it was one of those, you either sit and wait until the morning and see what we get or let people know, which is what we've chosen.

"The water table is not like it is mid-summer when it would soak that up. The water table is quite high, so it won't take as much as it normally would."

If Catterick succumbs to the weather, Kempton's eight-race all-weather card in the evening, starting at 4.50, will be the only fixture in Britain and Ireland.

Tom Ryall, clerk of the course at Warwick, is confident Thursday's jumps meeting will go ahead, despite the fact up to 10mm of rain is expected before the first race.

"Officially we're heavy, soft in places. We've had 48mm of rain from Tuesday night to Sunday, so a wet few days, and it just feels at the moment we're taking one step forward and two steps back," Ryall said on Tuesday afternoon.

"There's a few showers again tonight which could see 2-4mm overnight and then a dry day on Wednesday, and then it's quite showery from the early hours of Thursday morning, when we could see another 4 or 5mm fall before the first race.

"It's going to be testing ground, but we're confident the track is in good enough nick to take it. We're having to keep an eye on forecasts as they're frequently changing. If the forecast stands as it is then we should have no issues."

Simon Davis, estate manager at Southwell, has put down tarpaulin in order to protect the heavier parts of the course from the rain and is not expecting a huge change in going ahead of Thursday's meeting.

He said: "I managed to get round most of it with a mower this morning, so we're not really in a bad space, and it's starting to dry a bit, we're just a bit patchy.

"The worst bit is through the three-pole just coming off the home bend and we've put down some tarpaulin down to try to catch the water there and stop it getting down. We're hopeful that when we pull that off, it won't be any worse there.

"We've got rain coming in tonight but we're not really sure on the amounts as all the forecasts are varying. At the moment we're soft, heavy in places and it'll pretty much stay there."

Thursday's other turf meetings come in Ireland. Conditions at Naas are soft to heavy for a seven-race jumps card, while it is heavy at Clonmel, a card rescheduled from last week.

 

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