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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Buckley says meeting could start on good but warns rain is coming

Seamus Buckley, who stands down as clerk of the course at the end of the year, prepares the temporary running rail that will be used for the first two days of the Qatar Goodwood Festival
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Glorious Goodwood could start on Tuesday on good ground all around according to clerk of the course Seamus Buckley.

But track officials are bracing themselves for rain on Wednesday evening that could be substantial enough to alter the going again as the meeting moves into Thursday.

According to forecasts, there is a possibility the rain could arrive during Wednesday afternoon, although clerk of the course Seamus Buckley, who is hanging up his GoingStick later this year, is expecting it to come after the conclusion of racing.

On Monday afternoon the going was good on the round course, having changed from good to soft, good in places that had been reported earlier in the day.

The GoingStick reading was 6.8 and the ground was expected to continue drying out on what was a warm and dry Monday.

"I've walked the course again this afternoon and the ground is certainly drying," said Buckley on the eve of his final Glorious Goodwood.

"With the forecast expected tomorrow we could begin racing with good all round, but for now we are just on the soft side of good," he added.

Ribchester was on Monday a top-priced even-money to confirm his status as Europe's top miler and win the Group 1 Sussex Stakes, the highlight of Wednesday's meeting in which he will face a maximum of eight rivals. The opposition is headed by Churchill, available at 7-4, and French raider Zelzal at 8-1.

Happy Like A Fool remains a warm favourite at 7-4 for Wednesday's Group 3 Molecomb Stakes. The exciting American juvenile was second behind Heartache at Royal Ascot and Wesley Ward will be hoping the rain stays at bay for his two-year-old filly.

I have been told we can expect rain on Wednesday, but it mostly looks like it may be around after racing has finished
E.W. Terms
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