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Sandown facing inspection ahead of Friday meeting

Goshen ridden by Jamie Moore heads out to the track at Sandown
Image: Action from Sandown

Friday's Grand Military Gold Cup meeting at Sandown hinges on an 8am inspection on Thursday due to areas of false ground on both the chase and hurdle courses.

A few dry days have been welcome after the wet winter, but more improvement is essential and there is up to five millimetres of rain forecast on Thursday.

"We've never seen the back of waterlogged or false patches of ground since we lost the meeting on February 14, including up to today," said clerk of the course Andrew Cooper.

"The rain has kept coming, but this has been so far a drier week than what we have been getting.

"The problem area affects both courses to some degree. Our main area of concern would be from the two-mile hurdle start up to the Pond fence area, so about a furlong of ground affecting both courses that is very wet and is still false in places.

"It affects the bypass area of the Pond fence and the run to the first hurdle in the home straight. They are unmissable areas - you can't go round them.

"We need to see some improvement overall.

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"The forecast for the next 24 hours has chopped and changed a bit. At one stage we thought we were going to see a spell of rain today, but that is now less than imagined. Thursday has potentially pepped up a little bit."

The prospects for the Paddy Power Imperial Cup meeting on Saturday is better at this stage as the weather is set to be predominately dry.

"The outlook for Friday and Saturday is positive. It will be key what happens over the next 24 hours," said Cooper.

"Whatever the outcome for tomorrow, it doesn't necessarily mean we will, or won't be, racing on Saturday for dry weather.

"We will have to look at Saturday further down the line. The encouraging thing for Saturday is once you get to Friday onwards, it looks like rain is out of the equation until Saturday evening once we've finished racing. That would help Saturday."

Friday's all-chase card at Leicester is subject to an inspection at 7.45am on Thursday due parts of the course being waterlogged.

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