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."
1 September 2014Maguire hails 'fantastic' Peddlers
Balding staying grounded with Park
Culloty joins Leger Legends
McCain salutes retiring Peddlers
Regard among September possibles
Cox takes Haydock plunge with Love
Seven Towcester meetings go to ARC
Paddy gunning for Chepstow
Athenian has sales date
No hurry for Cape call
Further checks for Condon
Mirza on Abbaye trail
Due set to miss Sprint date
Condon 'stable' after Cork fall
Queen rules supreme for Smith
River eases to debut success
Carla tops it up to four
Atzeni strikes on Cappella
Ocean team want Haydock rain
Big time beckons for Orange
Palmer aims high with Aktabantay
Hills ponders Dutch gameplan
31 August 2014Atzeni strikes on Cappella
Imminent return Likely
Logic on comeback trail
Dan edges closer to Mile high
Keane error costly for Unrequited
Notarfbad makes all in Mildmay
Orange enjoys Big win
Fabre strikes with Fintry
Akta in late Solario swoop
Icon takes starring role
Pearl fires home in Bullet
Shortall suffers injury setback
Tent team consider chasing
30 August 2014Keane error costly for Unrequited
Shepherd's sent to Tower
Time will tell for Charlton
Stack filly Alive to chance
Sansevero sent to Tower
Palmer plots Solario success
Fabre has high hopes for Fintry
Belardo team keen on Champagne
Rigueur targets Chester consolation
Native in hunt for Bullet gains
Arc still target for Taghrooda
29 August 2014Catterick on track for AW start
Twiston-Davies extends Aintree role
NTF launch Newcastle petition
Bangor launches schooling raceday
Glance sights turn to Australia
Elm to swerve Solario
Irish Leger an option for Seismos
Muir outlines Point plans
Maarek team mull sprint options
Eagle in Champion frame
Raydara plan undecided
Gosden raises Kingman trip question