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Dante meeting could start on soft ground if rain continues

It could be wet on the Knavesmire on Wednesday
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The going at York eased to good to soft, good in places on Tuesday following further rain throughout the day, and assistant clerk of the course Anthea Morshead acknowledged the possibility that the Dante meeting could begin on soft ground should Wednesday forecasts prove accurate.

The going was as fast as good to firm, good in places as recently as Monday.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon Morshead said: "We've had 4mm in total today and it's about half and half good to soft and good as the rain has got into it. The forecast is to be mostly dry through the rest of the day and overnight, with some light stuff possibly in the early hours of the morning.

"Then we have a dry, cloudy morning tomorrow before a band of rain arrives around mid-morning. If it does arrive, it looks likely to sit around with us for most of the day, so I think we're definitely going to get rain tomorrow, so we'll have to see what happens.

"It could be that, if the forecast is correct, we start on soft ground but it's so very changeable you wouldn't stake your life on it. But if we get rain from late morning through to two, it could well be we start on soft.

"The Knavesmire is different to how it used to be though and has taken the rain very well. We're now looking at 18mm since Sunday morning, with only 10mm prior to that since the start of April. The track's in good order and it's a bit of a shame that this rain looks likely to come because if we went in to the meeting as we stand now, we'd all be delighted."

Officials at York are not the only ones on weather watch, with both Bath and Worcester likely to be affected by the band of rain forecast to be spread across a large area of England and Wales.

The going at Bath remained firm, good to firm in places on Tuesday but clerk of the course Katie Stephens warned of the potential for up to an inch of rain before tomorrow's seven-race card gets under way at 5.20.

"We've had 5mm so far [on Tuesday] and the rain looks set to continue overnight and into [Wednesday] morning and the early afternoon," said Stephens. "We're probably heading towards 50-50 firm and good to firm now and, having just spoken to a forecaster, if we were in the eye of the storm between now and racing, we could well get an inch."

Further north at Worcester, where a seven-race jumps card is scheduled to start at 2.00, clerk of the course Libby O'Flaherty is also braced for rain, with the going good to firm, good in places on Tuesday.

"We're forecast between 8mm and 12mm for Wednesday," said O'Flaherty. "The rain is going to start at around 10am and it won't stop until after racing.

"[On Tuesday] we've had 2.5mm and it was still raining when I left the course. There is more rain forecast for the evening and the ground may ease depending on how much rain we get during racing."

It could be that, if the forecast is correct, we start on soft ground but it's so very changeable you wouldn't stake your life on it
E.W. Terms