Substantial rain is forecast for Newmarket through to Thursday lunch timePICTURE: Getty Images
Newmarket going changed to good to soft
THE guessing game over the going description for the first Classics of the season at Newmarket this weekend continued on Wednesday, with the pendulum swinging back towards good after a drying day.
The official going reverted to good to soft, from soft the previous day, with a GoingStick reading of 6.8 (from 6.1) at 2pm, as the Rowley Mile course enjoyed a drying day. However a last substantial batch of rain is forecast overnight.
Newmarket's director of racing said Michael Prosser said on Wednesday: "The forecast is for overnight rain into Thursday morning but there is some uncertainty regarding timings and quantities. We are predicted to receive 6-8mm before it clears away early on Thursday afternoon."
Prosser predicted that would put the ground back to soft but if the largely dry forecast from then is right, it would "improve again ahead of the start of the meeting."
British racegoers will get their first sight of Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Vase winner Dunaden at Newmarket on Saturday when he lines up for the Group 2 Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes.
The globetrotting six-year-old is on a "fact-finding mission" to define his 2012 after ending last year in a blazeof glory when nosing out Red Cadeaux in the Melbourne Cup before winning the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase.
David Redvers, racing manager to owners Pearl Bloodstock, said: "It's very much the plan to run and he doesn't mind if there is a lot of rain or not and it's a good starting point for the season.
"It is going to be fascinating to see how he copes with British races - I think the strong pace will suit - and it is going to boil down to whether the international form stands up over here.
"I feel it might fall a bit short but the horse has improved over the winter and this will tell us if he has the pace for the big mile and a half races."
Dunaden has an entry in the Ascot Gold Cup and Redvers added: "If he hasn't got the pace then we can go back to the staying route."
Also set to run at Newmarket on Saturday is Nunthorpe winner Margot Did in the Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes.
Trainer Michael Bell said: "We think she is better with a bit of cut in the ground and the form book suggests that as well, so we are very happy withthe condition of the track at Newmarket."