Huntingdon under water for third time this year

Huntingdon racecourse remained under water on Saturday after a significant flood swept in just hours after its fixture on Thursday. 

It was the third time the track has flooded this year but officials are hopeful it will have receded in time for its next meeting on February 22. Thursday's seven-race card, headlined by the Listed Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle, went ahead after plans were put in place to provide emergency service cover around the course due to wet conditions.

The course avoided being placed in a flood alert area while the meeting was taking place as the adjacent Alconbury Brook had not yet flooded. However, that changed just a few hours later after the 14mm of rain from Wednesday and 20mm on raceday reached the nearby river network.

Huntingdon lost its January 3 meeting in similar circumstances but was able to race just nine days later as its new flood defence scheme around the stable yard held alongside the flood defences on the buildings.

Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said: "We're properly flooded and it's a pretty big one again. The road in has flooded and it is making access to the Holiday Inn [adjacent to the track] tricky.

"People perhaps didn't notice, but we started with the sandbags and flood defences before the last racegoers had left on Thursday. We've managed to keep the water out of the buildings so far. The levels have started to drop upstream, so hopefully we'll be back up and running for the next meeting."

Alconbury Brook was among five flood alert areas in and around Huntingdon on Saturday morning.