Saturday 16 December 2017

Southwell passes inspection

THE British Horseracing Authority has given Southwell the green light to stage its National Hunt fixture on January 3 following an inspection of the course.

The Nottinghamshire circuit was hit by severe flooding in late November, leaving the track and many of the surrounding buildings under water.

After having transferred all of its December and January all-weather fixtures to alternatives racecourses, Southwell was initially set to be out of action until February, but jump racing will take place on January 3 and January 21, weather permitting.

Clerk of the course, Roderick Duncan, said: "The inspectorate were content everything is coming back into place and hopefully we'll be racing on January 3, weather permitting.

"We might struggle to race today as we are waterlogged in places after over 20 millimetres of rain in the last 18 hours or so, so hopefully the weather helps us out as it will be great to get racing on again.

"We are also due to race over jumps on January 21 and then, hopefully, the plan is to be back racing on the all-weather in the first week in February, but that is subject to all the work being completed."

Officials at Newcastle have been forced to abandon Saturday's meeting due to a waterlogged track.

The Gosforth Park circuit has been hit by significant rainfall throughout the week, prompting clerk of the course James Armstrong to call an 8am inspection for today.

While there could be some improvement later today, the damage has been done and there is more rain on the way on Saturday morning.

Armstrong said: "We've had to knock it on the head, I'm afraid. We are never going to be able to race in the conditions we have at the moment. We've had an inch of rain in the last 24 hours."

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