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Soft set to appear in Derby going description following 21mm of rain

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Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper believes the word soft is all but certain to appear in the going description for the Investec Derby on Saturday following 21mm of rainfall at the track on Tuesday.

After a warm bank holiday weekend when temperatures reached 27C ground conditions had started Tuesday at good, good to soft in places but Cooper had already been forced to revise that by the evening after Epsom was hit by a band of heavy showers during the afternoon.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Cooper said: "We totalled 21 millimetres over a 24 hour period and it’s very straightforward soft ground. It’s not desperate by any means and, if there is a better side of soft, that’s the way it walks.

"You’d expect that at Epsom, which is chalk-based and takes rain incredibly well."

With the Investec-sponsored Oaks and Coronation Cup taking centre stage on Friday, much will now depend on the last serious band of showers for the week, which are forecast to arrive on Thursday morning. 

But however much or little rain that weather front delivers, Cooper expects conditions to be riding on the slow side on Saturday, despite a dry Wednesday and overnight into Thursday. 

"We are at risk of another band of potentially heavy showers from the continent on Thursday morning," said Cooper. "In the worse case we could be looking at a repeat scenario, but hopefully we’ll get less than that. 

"Once we get Thursday out of the way there is every chance that Friday and certainly Saturday will be dry days with pleasant temperatures in the low 20Cs. What will be key for us is what happens overnight into Thursday morning.

"It’s a quick-drying course, but you need the weather to provide quick-drying conditions and we’re not talking 28 degrees with a stiff breeze, which is the sort of weather that might change the ground by a point.

"Even if it were to stay dry between now and Derby day you would be looking at good to soft at best. It will be on the softer side of the scale and the extent will depend on what happens on Thursday."


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It’s not desperate by any means and, if there is a better side of soft, that’s the way it walks
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