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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Plumpton apologetic after heavy rain forces late cancellation

More racing and the effect it has on the ground could be having an impact
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Racing at Plumpton on Monday was called off at noon after the track was hit by unexpectedly heavy rain through the morning.

With significant standing water on the track it was almost a foregone conclusion when officials went out to inspect with jockeys Tom Cannon and Marc Goldstein at around 11.30am.

The overnight going had been soft, good to soft in places, and although clerk of the course Mark Cornford had updated it twice by 9am he did not foresee a serious problem.

Explaining the chain of events, Cornford said: "The forecast was for 6mm to 8mm of rain, clearing around midday or certainly by early afternoon.

"When I arrived at 6am there was 2mm in the pot. I walked around, and while there was rain in the wind it wasn't heavy rain by any means. There was no need to have an inspection based on the forecast.

"At 8.30am I checked the rain gauge again and there had been a further 3mm, and then we had a good hour with weather that was predominately dry. It was looking very good at that time, but at approximately 10.15am the heavens opened. We had some serious rainfall and water was beginning to rise and sit on the surface.

"I came back in to see the stewards and said we should look at this. We got a couple of jockeys and stewards on site and I called for an inspection shortly after, then for a result for midday."

He added: "We found a couple of false patches between the last two flights and fences, and water was laying there quite deeply as it's a low-spot of the course.

"We were going to go without the second-last hurdle but there were too many poor areas and we had to consider the bypasses as well as the racing line, as well as access for horse ambulances and welfare of the jockeys."

Cornford, who confirmed there had been 17mm of rain by the time the meeting was abandoned, believes that the last time Plumpton had to call off a meeting was Easter Monday 2016, following an inch of rain overnight.

He said: "We're very disappointed and I'm also very sorry for anybody who has had to travel. I don't take this lightly. I have my heart on my sleeve and I feel gutted for people that have put in the effort to be here."

I don't take this lightly. I have my heart on my sleeve and I feel gutted for people that have put in the effort to be here

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