As a result, the grandstand and other buildings are under as much as nine inches of water and the whole track resembles a boating lake. Speaking on At The Races this afternoon, Kate Hills, from ARC, which includes Southwell in its portfolio of courses, said, “It’s all systems go now to get the water pumped away. It’s affected the track as well as the buildings and concourse.”
The British Horseracing Authority has given ARC the go-ahead to transfer the meetings scheduled to take place at Southwell during December to its other all weather tracks at Lingfield and Wolverhampton. It means that there will be a monster card of anything up to 15 races at Wolverhampton on 15 December, with a Southwell card tacked on to the afternoon one that is already in the calendar in the West Midlands.
The one jumps card, on Tuesday next week, is on offer to other jump tracks, with Lingfield as the fallback if there are no takers.
The flooding is as bad as it was in 2007 when the track was shut for several months. Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan hoped that “this could be the last time.” Presumably he was referring to the flooding and not the Rolling Stones. He said, "We have on-going talks with the Environment Agency and Trent Valley Drainage Board to improve this situation in the future."
The plan now is to resume racing in January, and with five meetings scheduled for the first week of the new year, Duncan and his team will be doing all they can to be ready for a flying start in 2013.