William Haggas: trainer "livid" after ground eases at NewcastlePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
William Haggas upset by Newcastle's watering
LEADING trainer William Haggas has hit out at the decision by the racecourse management at Newcastle to water the track in the run up to the John Smith's Northumberland Plate.
Haggas, who is due to saddle leading fancy Sun Central in Saturday's £150,000 contest, said he was "livid" that clerk of the course James Armstrong had chosen to water prior to rain falling.
Armstrong had around 7mm of water on the track during the week, but with up to 13mm of rain expected to fall during Friday the going is now good to soft, soft in places.
"I am absolutely livid with this fellow putting water on when everyone could see there was a chance of rain so I shall pull him out if it's soft," Haggas said. "I have a runner in the first tonight. I have sent Sun Central there but he won't run if it's soft."
Richard Fahey is set to be represented by Address Unknown and Ingleby Spirit in the Plate and he too is concerned by the change in underfoot conditions.
"At the 48-hour stage the going was good," said Fahey. "Nobody could have predicted this. All week all we've been listening about is horses coming out because of the firm ground.
"I am sure if we had made the decision at 10am this morning we would have a different race. That's the way the system is and that's what we've got to live with."