Ascot: passed its inspection, with the first race on Betfair Ascot Chase due off at 1.15pm
Today’s meetings at Ascot, Haydock and Lingfield have passed this morning’s inspections – scheduled because of concerns over strong winds – although Wincanton’s Kingwell Hurdle card has been abandoned due to waterlogging.
The Betfair Ascot Chase card, set to start at 1.15pm, has been given the go-ahead by clerk of the course Chris Stickels, who is optimistic that Saturday’s big meeting – featuring Cyrname in the Grade 1 feature – will go ahead as planned.
— Lee Mottershead (@leemottershead) February 15, 2020
“The wind has picked up since 6am,” Stickels said. “We’ve got gusts of about 20mph at the present, which is not enough to be concerned about, but Storm Dennis is still on its way.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens when it arrives. But at the moment, the wind strength is less than the forecast at this point.”
The going at Ascot is soft, heavy in places, and similar conditions are expected at Haydock (heavy, soft in places on the hurdles course), which was deemed fit to race following an inspection this morning. A second inspection may be called if conditions worsen.
Kirkland Tellwright, clerk of the course at Haydock, said: “We’ve got a little rain and it’s a bit breezy – nothing like what’s expected later. We’ve no challenges at the moment but we can do no more than monitor the wind as the day advances.
“I think it’s [Storm Dennis] travelling up from the south but it simply hasn’t arrived yet. We’re in a good place at the moment.”
At-a-glance Saturday weather prospects
Racing on, inspection passed at 8am. Going is soft, heavy in places
Racing on, inspection passed at 8am although a second one may be called if conditions worsen. Going is heavy, soft in places on the hurdles course
Second inspection at 11.30am. Going is standard
Racing OFF, waterlogging
Racing on. Going is heavy
Racing on. Going is standard
Lingfield also passed its initial morning inspection, although officials plan to take a second look at 11.30am, while the back straight at Wincanton is unraceable and further rain is expected throughout the day.
The track tweeted: “Wind gusts have reached upwards of 30mph and are predicted to rise. The back straight is waterlogged. The ground is unraceable and will not withstand further rainfall predicted.”
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FIRST PUBLISHED 7:40AM, FEB 15 2020