Sandown forced to abandon

  • Last Updated: January 3 2014, 18:17 GMT

Officials at Sandown Park have been left with no choice but to abandon their feature meeting on Saturday.

Andrew Cooper: Forced to abandon Saturday's card
Andrew Cooper: Forced to abandon Saturday's card

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Conditions at the Esher track had been described as 'just about raceable' on Thursday with plans to hold a look on the day of racing but that inspection was brought forward after further rainfall.

Andrew Cooper, Sandown's Clerk of the Course, told Racing UK that they were left with no other choice but to call the meeting off.

"We've got no choice but to abandon; heavy showers over lunchtime which went on into the afternoon have left us with at least two places on each course where it's definitely unraceable at the moment.

"We've got no options about where we go in terms of rail or bypassing those particular areas and we're faced with a forecast telling us we're going to get more showers later in the day plus we've got around 10 millimetres of rain tomorrow morning so we've got to the stage where we'd be delaying the inevitable by dragging things out any further," he revealed.

"We've had a growing problem through the day on the stands' side of the chase course and the whole bypass area is relatively narrow at that point. It's definitely unraceable at the moment, you couldn't jump the fence, you can't go round it and the stands' side of the chase track has deteriorated quite dramatically today and there's standing water in places and patches of false ground.

"The other real problem area is getting the hurdlers turning into the back straight. We've moved the rail to its inner most configuration but it's turned into a swamp in that location and there are other bits around the track that are marginal.

"It's clearly reached a point of absolute saturation."

The Grade One Tolworth Hurdle was the feature race on the card and the British Horseracing Authority later tweeted that the contest will be rescheduled for next Saturday's meeting at Kempton Park.

Full details of the rescheduled race will be published on Monday and the race will be reopened for entries from Tuesday.

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