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Heavy track expected for Festival Stakes

The Festival Stakes meeting at Rosehill is expected to be held on a heavy track with the latest weather forecasts predicting almost 50 millimetres of rain to fall. 

Track manager Shaun Patterson said the forecast was changing by the hour and initial predictions for 30mm of rain across Thursday and Friday had been significantly increased. 

“At the moment, they’re saying tomorrow we will get about 17 mils and Friday has picked up to about 30 mils itself,” Patterson said. 

“On the day itself, they’re only saying 0.9 mils, which will be beneficial. Rain on a race day is the worst thing you can probably get.” 

Wet weather last weekend already has Rosehill rated a soft seven and if the predicted rain does eventuate, it will tip it into the heavy range. 

“If they get it right, it will be a genuine heavy track,” Patterson said. “It’s crystal ball stuff at the moment and we just have to see how much we do get. Looking at it now, the forecast is different to what is was an hour ago and an hour before that.” 

A heavy track rating could affect early markets with Snapdancer, a $3.50 favourite for the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m), having never raced on rain-affected ground, although she did win a recent barrier trial in heavy conditions. 

Festival Stakes fancy Ellsberg placed in heavy conditions early in his career, but his only subsequent wet track starts were on surfaces rated a soft 5. 

The wet weather is also having an impact in Queensland with Wednesday’s Doomben meeting abandoned due to the state of the track and the Gold Coast rated a heavy 9 for Saturday’s Recognition Stakes program.

Heavy track expected for Saturday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS

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