Torrential rain and 80mph winds are forecast to hit southern EnglandPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Racing at risk from
worst storm in years
RACECOURSES were on Sunday night battening down the hatches in preparation for what was predicted to be the worst storm to hit Britain for more than a decade.
Inspections are planned for all three of Monday’s meetings, with torrential rain and 80mph winds forecast to hit southern England, south Wales, the Midlands and much of eastern England overnight and into Monday morning.
Officials at Bangor will assess conditions at 6.30am, while their counterparts at Leicester and Redcar follow suit an hour later. No problems are anticipated for Monday’s Irish cards at Galway and Naas, but management teams at Ffos Las, Catterick and Yarmouth are monitoring developments before Tuesday’s fixtures.
Jimmy Stevenson, clerk of the course at Leicester, said: “The forecasters are still not 100 per cent when the impact will be, or from what direction, but at the moment we are looking at between 10pm and mid-morning for the heavy rain and severe wind, so we will have to wait and see how we end up.
“The ground is perfectly okay, heavy, soft in places, but the epicentre of the storm looks to be going slightly north of us, and the worst of the winds will be south of it, which means us.”
Bangor clerk Andrew Morris said: “The very strong winds should be south of us, but we have a fairly substantial amount of rain forecast, maybe up to 20mm, coming overnight and into the morning. Although the track is fine at the moment, it is prudent that we look in the morning.”
Steve Gofton, clerk at Redcar, said: “The forecast seems to change hourly and has ranged from zero rain coming Monday morning to 30mm. We are hoping most of the rain will have come through before lunchtime.
“We have changed the ground to soft after 3mm overnight, but I don’t think the wind will be any stronger than at Doncaster on Saturday.”
Ffos Las clerk Tim Long said: “We are currently raceable, soft, heavy in places, and my forecast says 15mm upwards and heavy winds before abating through Monday, so it is a case of seeing how we get on."
Fiona Needham at Catterick said: “At the risk of sounding like Michael Fish, I think the storm is meant to stay to the south of us. If it did hit us life would be a bit different.”
Yarmouth clerk Richard Aldous said: “I have been forecast between 8-13mm of rain, and the wind could be 29mph upwards, which shouldn’t cause any problems, but you can never tell with storms. They can come in hard and fast.”
Wednesday weather prospects
Ayr Heavy. Wind and 6mm rain forecast overnight. No races on sprint course.
Carlisle Good to soft, soft in places. 11mm of rain over weekend, more to come.
Nottingham Soft. Heavy rain and strong winds forecast overnight.
Kempton Standard (all-weather).
Punchestown Yielding to soft. 5mm of rain since Friday, more forecast before Wednesday,