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Grands Crus - Kempton - 26.12.2011

The ground at Kempton has taken 56mm of rain in less than a week

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

King George to be run on heavy ground after rain

GROUND conditions at Kempton deteriorated to 'heavy' after a thunderstorm on Christmas Day morning but clerk of the course Brian Clifford stressed that the William Hill King George VI Chase meeting on Boxing Day was not in jeopardy.

After walking the course at 9.30am, Clifford changed the official going report to 'heavy' from 'soft, heavy in places' after 8mm of rain fell during the storm, taking the total rainfall at the course in the last week to 56mm.

He said: "It was rather more than the showers we were forecast but the course is perfectly raceable. The weather is now clearing from the west and we're forecast to be dry with sunny spells from now until after racing on Boxing Day.

"The horses will gallop in this ground all right. Then beauty of it being so wet is that it will not impede too many, as holding ground would."

It is a similar story elsewhere, with rain falling across Britain on Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. The only three meetings where the going description is not heavy are Wolverhampton on the all-weather, where the going is Standard, and Market Rasen and Wetherby, where the heavy ground is accompanied by areas described as soft.

Fontwell, with standing water in places, has called an inspection at 8am on Wednesday. Wetherby announced on Monday they too would inspect at 8.30am on Wednesday, the course is raceable at present.

Ffos Las, Towcester and Wincanton have received 9mm of rain in the last 24 hours. That takes the rainfall at Ffos Las in the last week to 84mm with more rain forecast. However clerk of the course Tim Long is confident racing will be on and has not called an ispection.

Towcester is forecast to remain dry until after racing, however Wincanton is expecting a further 6mm but have no plans to inspect the course before racing.

Market Rasen faired even worse, with 11mm on Monday and further showers expected. Sedgefield were on Monday confident that racing would go ahead. So far Huntingdon is the only Boxing Day meeting to be lost to the weather.

Over in Ireland the going is also heavy at Down Royal and Limerick, but the meeting at Leopardstown will be run on ground currently described as soft, yielding to soft in places.

Leicester officials have called an inspection at 11am on Wednesday for their meeting on Friday. The course is waterlogged in places. Southwell has been forced to abandon their next jumps fixture on January 3 as the course is currently flooded.

Boxing Day Going Report
Down Royal Heavy
Ffos Las Heavy
Fontwell Heavy, standing water in places, inspection at 8am
Kempton Heavy
Leopardstown Soft, Yielding to Soft in places
Limerick Heavy
Market Rasen Heavy, Soft in places
Sedgefield Heavy
Towcester Heavy
Wetherby Heavy, Soft in places, inspection at 8.30am
Wincanton Heavy
Wolverhampton Standard

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