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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Another Scottish meeting lost after Ayr Gold Cup blow

Action at Hamilton: Monday's action has been called off following heavy rain
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Hamilton’s meeting on Monday has been called off because of areas of false ground following heavy rain.

The loss of the fixture is another blow to racing in Scotland after the three-day Ayr Gold Cup meeting was cancelled because of a waterlogged patch of ground on the home straight.

An inspection at Hamilton, originally set for Monday morning, was brought forward to 4pm on Sunday because of rain and a forecast for more, with the ground described as heavy, soft in places.

Hamilton racing manager Sulekha Varma said on Sunday: "The rain came in at 10am and was relentless until 2pm.

"It eased off for half an hour, but in the 30 minutes up to the inspection it started again. Unfortunately it has topped up the heavy rainfall we've had this year."

The course had worked hard all week to combat the forecast rain, moving a mile of railing and putting tarpaulins down to protect against the rain in the worst areas.

Varma added: "There's no standing water, but there is false ground with the turf moving under your feet, so it's not safe."

The loss of the meeting, the first in five years at the track, is another blow for locals after the abandonment of Ayr, 40 miles to the south-west of Hamilton, last week and coincided with a holiday weekend in the area.

The meeting was a family fun day and was set to raise money for the Les Hoey MBE Dreammaker Foundation, which provides special occasions for terminally ill children.

Ayr was undone by 17mm of rain on Wednesday last week, which left a waterlogged patch in the middle of the home straight that could not be dried out sufficiently even with the help of a hovering helicopter on Thursday. 

The ground had changed to heavy, soft in places with more rain forecast

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