'It's going to be proper wet, heavy Chepstow ground' - no concerns for big day
Having survived the escalation of Wales entering lockdown on Sunday, there are no fears the weather could provide a sting in the tail for Chepstow as they prepare for the Coral Welsh Grand National on Sunday.
The fixture has been postponed four times in the last ten years due to waterlogging and snowfall, but despite ground currently being described as heavy and more wet weather expected, clerk of the course Libby O'Flaherty is confident there is no threat to the card this time around.
"I don't think there should be any threat because the rain is going to be dotted throughout the week rather than all coming at once," O'Flaherty said.
"From now until Sunday the forecast is for 25-30mm of rain overall, but we're going to have two dry days on Thursday and Friday. Saturday is on and off rain and Sunday is breezy with showers. It's going to be proper wet and heavy Chepstow ground.
"Both bends are being run on fresh ground and we've saved the hurdles course, which hasn't been run on since our last meeting of last season."
The Evan Williams-trained Secret Reprieve is the top-priced 4-1 favourite for the Welsh National, having been as big as 14-1 after winning at Chepstow earlier this month.
Wetherby hosts its two-day Christmas meeting on December 26 and 27, and the ground is currently soft with a mixed forecast ahead which could cause an easing of conditions.
Clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson said: "The forecast is a little bit hit and miss. We're unsure just how much rain there is going to be because the forecasts are quite varied.
"It's been raining this morning but we're expecting it to be dry on Tuesday before more rain on Wednesday. We might get some heavy bursts and it could be dry then until the weekend."
"The ground is going to keep easing as the week goes on. For Saturday it could still be soft or soft, heavy on the back, but if we get a deluge on Wednesday it could become heavier."
Leopardstown hosts its big festive meeting over four days from December 26 and the conditions contrast with Britain. Track boss Tim Husbands said selective watering could take place this week.
He said: “The chase track is good to yielding, yielding in parts, and there are some parts that are good, but they're few and far between.
“We're going to leave it until Wednesday before we decide about watering or not. We could give the track some selective watering on Wednesday but it's in really good condition.
“We have had a fair amount of rain over the last few days and, after a lengthy conversation with Met Eireann, we feel we're in a good place. We will have great ground for what is a really exciting programme.”
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