14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Sandown decision delayedHeadlines

A decision as to whether the four hurdle races will be run at Sandown's meeting on Saturday has been delayed until Friday morning.

Officials at the Esher venue have been given the flexibility by the British Horseracing Authority to put a final decision back until a further inspection at 8am after they looked at the track on Thursday afternoon. Should the hurdles course be declared unfit then a six-race all-chase card will take place.

The hurdles track is described as heavy, soft in places (some waterlogging) while the chase course is soft, heavy in places. The morning's inspection is timed to come after up to 15 millimetres of rain which is forecast overnight.

"We're going to have a further look in the morning. There was no final decision taken on which route we go down," said clerk of the course Andrew Cooper.

"We've been given this flexibility to carry over this inspection to Friday morning before declarations are made and after the last of the appreciable rain we shall see before the meeting.

"The hurdles course is no worse than it was, but it wouldn't take a lot of rain to be false in places. I'm pleased we've got the back-up of all-chase card. The foremost aim is to run the card as originally constituted and at this stage I don't foresee any problems with the chase course.

"It is just a degree sounder than the hurdle course and would cope with the rain better. I'd be quite optimistic of staging some racing here on Saturday whether that's a six-race chase card or the original one planned we will have to see. I think at least having something on here will be possible."

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