Newmarket July festival

Newmarket ground drying after windy Wednesday and has 'taken rain fantastically well' following Tuesday deluge

Biggles wins Saturday's Bunbury Cup in front of a sizeable crowd at Newmarket
Newmarket: stages the three-day July festival this weekCredit: Edward Whitaker (

Drying conditions at Newmarket could result in Thursday's July meeting starting on good to soft ground despite nearly three centimetres of rain falling at the venue in 90 minutes on Tuesday.

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, clerk of the course Andrew Morris said he had changed the ground to good to soft, soft in places from soft, good to soft in places after a day of warm and windy weather.

"We've had a lovely dry day and the ground is drying out because of it," Morris said. "We've had no more rain so we've changed the ground to good to soft, soft in places. The weather is largely dry on Thursday with a light shower forecast in the late afternoon, maybe even after racing.

"We're hoping it continues to dry out and that the ground could have improved again before first race time. If it continues like this we could be racing on good to soft tomorrow."

A total of 29mm of rain had fallen at the July course within a one-and-a-half-hour spell on Tuesday and the going had initially been eased to soft.

"We had a pretty unexpected and incredibly heavy shower on Tuesday between 2pm and 3.30pm, which hit us with 29mm of rain," Morris said. "We're lucky with the July course that it's taken the rain fantastically well."

A more settled period is expected until July Cup day on Saturday, and Morris hopes that could see the going improve throughout the meeting.

The three-day meeting begins on Thursday before the Group 1 highlights, the Falmouth Stakes and July Cup, take place on Friday and Saturday. All of the action will take place on the stands' side track for the first time this season.

The July Cup (4.35) could feature a fascinating clash of the sprinting generations between three-year-olds Inisherin and Vandeek against older horses Regional and Kinross, while Thursday's ladies' day is expected to be the busiest day of the meeting.

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Deputy industry editor

Published on inNewmarket July festival

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