14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Chepstow outlines inspection plansHeadlines

Officials at Chepstow will wait until Christmas Eve before deciding when to inspect for their Coral Welsh National meeting on Thursday.

The Monmouthshire course has been hit by substantial rainfall in the last week ahead of the track's most high-profile fixture in the calendar. The course is currently waterlogged in places and there is more rain on the way.

Clerk of the course Keith Ottesen said on Sunday: "In just over 24 hours we have had 45 millimetres, which takes us up to 135mm in nine days - that is nearly five and a half inches. We are up to 1500mm for the year and we had 849mm for the whole of 2011, so it's not quite doubled, but we're not far off."

He went on: "It stopped raining at around 3am this morning and quite a bit of the surface water we had has now gone, so there has been improvement.

"However, there is quite high confidence that another band of rain is coming in tonight, bringing something between 10 and 15 millimetres, and that will leave us where we were on Saturday.

"We will see what tonight brings before calling an inspection. We will be inspecting at some stage but the timing of it will depend on what we get tonight. There is more rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday, but it is showery in nature so we could miss those or we could get some sharp showers.

"There is another band coming in on Wednesday but it is not due to be as long as what we have been getting. We'll get through tonight and see where we are."

Chepstow officials are making contingency plans to switch the card to January 5, should conditions not improve sufficiently.

"First and foremost we are thinking about racing on the 27th," said Ottesen.

"It is not a foregone conclusion we won't race that day, though obviously with the rain we've had and are forecast there is some doubt. In the meantime we are working on a contingency plan of racing on January 5."

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