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Raining At Ascot 2

More rain is forecast for Britain and Ireland in the coming days

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Huntingdon and Ayr inspect as rain continues

MEETINGS at Huntingdon and Ayr are subject to 7.30am inspections on Thursday as another band of low pressure over Britain threatens further significant downpours which could cause disruption to the weekend fixture list, including Sandown's valuable card.

While the clerks at Huntingdon and Ayr remained upbeat that both meetings would be given the go-ahead, there was concern at the former track of a repeat of last week's flooding from surrounding areas to the racecourse which led to the abandonment of the card on December 26.

Sulekha Varma, Huntingdon's clerk, said: "As yet no Environment Agency Flood Alert has been issued, but it is raining heavily and flooding may occur. There is the potential for an issue here, although we're raceable at the moment."

Ayr, where the going is described as heavy, is forecast up to 10mm on Wednesday night, but clerk Emma Marley said: "I am quietly confident we could take 10mm and am hopeful we'll be okay."

Wincanton's meeting on Saturday is already under threat, with an inspection called for 11am on Thursday. The ground is heavy (waterlogged in places).

"I'd say the chances of racing are no better than 50-50," said clerk of the course Barry Johnson.

There are also growing fears that Sandown, which is due to stage the Grade 1 32Red Tolworth Novices' Hurdle as the highlight of a seven-race card on Saturday, could prove vulnerable after the New Year's Day downpours.

Andrew Cooper, clerk of the course at Sandown, said: "The latest forecast is for more rain on Thursday night. This latest band of rain has left us vulnerable."

Lingfield's meeting on Friday has already been abandoned, while the Irish fixture at Cork on Saturday is dependent on a 9am inspection on Thursday.

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