Racing is praying for a respite from the wet weather ahead of a big weekend at Newbury and Newcastle.
Conditions at both tracks currently have heavy in the going description, but the north east venue has been having the worst of the rain. Newcastle are set to stage their biggest meeting of the National Hunt season on Saturday, featuring what looks set to be a fantastic renewal of the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle. However, the course has been hit by more than 50 millimetres of rain in recent days.
"Since midnight we've had another inch of rain, so that's well over 50 millimetres in the last three days," clerk of the course James Armstrong said on Monday afternoon.
"It's certainly beginning to take its toll. There is water beginning to sit on all sorts of places. At the moment we are heavy, waterlogged in places. According to the forecast we are looking at another 10-15mm up to the early hours of the morning then it clears up.
"We will have a proper assessment in the morning and see how it is draining away. It looks as if from tomorrow things will improve, but I'm not ruling out sharp showers rolling in off the east coast. Then we might have the added problem of temperatures dropping away towards the end of the week, not particularly severe but something we are keeping an eye on."
The situation at Newbury ahead of the three-day Sportingbet Winter Festival meeting, culminating in the Hennessy Gold Cup on Saturday, is not as bad. The going remained unchanged on Monday afternoon as soft, heavy in places.
Clerk of the course Richard Osgood said: "Ground wise, we are still the same. We had 6.5mm of rain overnight and we are due some light rain possibly getting heavier towards dawn then after that clearing up. Towards the end of the week the forecast is for it to get dry, but colder. I am covering take-offs and landings and then we will see what it looks like as we get closer towards the end of the week."
Fairyhouse are also due to stage a big two-day meeting at the weekend. General manager Peter Roe does not expect any problems at the Irish venue.
"We've had a good drying day today and it is forecast to be mainly dry between now and the weekend, so I'm very confident we'll be racing," he said on Monday afternoon.
"The ground is heavy but we're raceable. I'd imagine it will heavy for the next couple of days as we've taken a good soaking. It should be cracking racing all weekend and I'm very bullish about the meeting going ahead."
17 June 2013Cecil's words not lost on Ponsonby
Dawn out for Palace redemption
Hawkwood supplemented for Hardwicke
Magician set for Palace showdown
Flotilla To Drop Back In Trip
Cecil's Chigun in Cambridge action
Al Kazeem and Camelot clash again
De Kock hoping to make history
War ready for Royal Ascot battle
Kingdom set to reign over Ascot
Cat clings on for Carroll
Three more winners for Lady Cecil
Monaghan delivers on Midnight
Treve in stunning Diane win
Sapphire target for Trees
Beckett mulls Secret options
Nicholls has broken wrist
16 June 2013Songbird aiming to fly high
Movie has Newmarket on radar
Fahey juveniles primed for action
Stubbs leads O'Brien Coventry team
Salsify on summer break
Kempton target for Benbulben
Top trio head Palace runners
Shea Shea shoots for Stand glory
Animal heads Queen Anne field
Saint-Cloud aim for Dunaden
Magician to be declared for Palace
Soul all heart in York sprint
Kingsgate rules Musselburgh
Sam too sharp for rivals
Hughes makes it pay with Knight
Balding on mark with double
Morawij in a hurry in Scurry
Bartley is queen for a day
Big guns to clash in Coronation
15 June 2013Marengo set for battle royal
Saddler's ready to rock - Oxx
Soprano primed to hit right notes
Balding receives OBE
Victory on a plate for Montaser
Magician run in the balance
Secret set to make Ascot stand
Probert return delayed
Nagle covers Maarek options
Ribblesdale chance for Lark
Walker hoping Guns will fire
Estimate in Royal Gold run
14 June 2013Trip should suit Moore - Dunlop
Vincentti primed for York mission
Guest shoots for Trophy glory
Cleary on sidelines
Dettori partners Cecil hope
Mor success for Bolger and Manning
O'Brien seeking Sham improvement
Plans changing for Kate
Queen's Vase to honour Cecil
Poignant success for Morpheus
Tipperary target for Conor
Approach still on course for Palace
Realta strikes for Channon
Motion trusts Animal instincts
Kazeem set for Camelot rematch