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Well Refreshed Plumpton 6.1.13

Well Refreshed storms away with last year's Sussex National

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Sussex National card given every chance

HOPES of jump racing in Britain on Sunday rest on rain-hit Plumpton, where prospects were on a knife edge on Saturday evening.

The At The Races Sussex National card survived an 11am inspection earlier on Saturday after just a couple of light showers fell, but another check is due at 7am on Sunday and conditions will be extremely taxing if racing does go ahead.

Clerk of the course Mark Cornford said: "We can't handle any significant rainfall. If we have another bad night or another rainstorm like we had Friday afternoon that would tip us over the edge.

"The ground will be very wet and very testing, I can't emphasise that enough, but the horses have declared on it and everyone I have spoken to seems upbeat and wants to have a go.

"The worst part of the course is the bottom bend from about midway round turning into the home straight. We won't be jumping the first fence in the home straight, which would have been the first in the National, but we are jumping everything else."

Cornford consulted seven different weather forecasts to assess prospects and said: "Everyone seems to think there will be the tiny splash of a passing shower at 2am or 3am, no more than 1mm or 2mm, then dry until racing. On that forecast, you have got to give it every chance."

The going at Naas was described as soft, soft to heavy in places before Sunday's meeting with a forecast for 5mm of overnight rain. 

A waterlogged Taunton pulled the plug on Monday's meeting following an inspection on Saturday, while Chepstow's meeting on Tuesday is subject to a 9am check on Sunday, with the track currently waterlogged. 

Officials at Southwell are more upbeat regarding Monday's jumps fixture, with clerk Roderick Duncan optimistic racing will go ahead providing the forecast is accurate. That sentiment was matched at Thurles, despite the threat of heavy rain before Monday.

Leicester's meeting on Tuesday is another at risk due to waterlogging and a further update is expected on Sunday.

Stay ahead of the weather with our at-a-glance prospects guide

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