Lingfield clerk surprised by spate of non-runners due to drying ground
Lingfield clerk of the course George Hill expressed his surprise after the track's popular evening fixture was hit by a spate of non-runners.
Of the 83 horses declared, 22 have been pulled out, with 16 on account of the going, which on Saturday morning was good to firm, good in places. However, it is expected to dry to good to firm by the first race at 4.55.
The 6f handicap (6.35) has been reduced by eight runners to nine, while six have come out of the 1m2f handicap an hour later, leaving a field of eight.
Hill said: "I was a little surprised to see so many non-runners but it's up to the trainers. Declarations were on good to soft, good in places after a lot of rain last Saturday.
"After two days with highs of 23C and no rain it was always going to dry out. It was good in places this morning but we're racing in the evening and I wanted to be clear about the likely going.
"The ground has not changed dramatically, it has changed as expected with the weather we've had. The stable yard is still pretty full and we also have a 13-runner Arab race on the all-weather."
Despite the non-runners, Hill is expecting a big turnout for the track's Gentlemen's Day, which finishes with a live performance from the Cheaky Blinders, who perform classic party songs.
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