Hopes rising for Sandown card
Sandown's Tolworth Hurdle meeting on Saturday looks set to beat the elements, with the areas of standing water clearing from the track.
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Having been unraceable in recent days, the Esher venue was just about fit for action on Wednesday.
With a dry forecast for the rest of the week, clerk of the course Andrew Cooper feels the signs are good.
"We've had a good, busy morning out on the course and you would just about race here today," Cooper told Racing UK.
"With a bit of imagination in terms of rail movement I'm sure we could find a complete circuit.
"It's desperately soft in places but just about okay as far as conditions are today so we've dropped the references to 'unraceable' and 'standing water' from our official report. there were any appreciable rain forecast we would struggle but, luckily, other than perhaps a bit of drizzle, it looks a dry and mild
"I would describe the track on both courses as 'heavy, soft in places'.
"It's better down the back straight on both courses but the home straight on both courses, particularly the hurdles, it is very heavy.
"The forecast for the rest of the week is encouraging.
"If there was any appreciable rain forecast we would struggle but, luckily, other than perhaps a bit of drizzle, it looks a dry and mild week.
"Fingers crossed we should be okay."
(reopens) Sandown's card will be bolstered by the addition of the Grade Two 32Red.com HBLB Handicap Chase.
The two-and-a-half-mile race - more commonly known as the Dipper Novices' Chase - was due to be staged at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, but that fixture was postponed due to a waterlogged track.
Entries must to be made by noon on Thursday, with the final field declared on Friday.
Cooper tweeted: "Dipper Novices' Chase added to Sat Jan 5 @Sandownpark. Entries tomorrow, decs Friday.
"Captain Conan and Unioniste expected!"