Tag Archive for: Andrew Cooper

Heavy rain leads to Sandown abandoning Friday card

Friday’s high-profile Flat fixture at Sandown had to be abandoned after heavy rain left the course unfit for racing.

The Esher track was due to stage a two-day meeting, with Saturday’s end-of-season jumps fixture preceded by a quality card on the level.

Derby and King George hero Adayar was due to make his return in the Group Three bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes, while several colts had the opportunity to stake a Derby claim in the bet365 Classic Trial.

The Group Two bet365 Mile was also set to take place, but Sandown’s clerk of the course Andrew Cooper called a precautionary inspection for 7am late on Friday evening and ultimately had no option but to call off proceedings.

He said: “We had just under 12 millimetres of rain here on Thursday, the bulk of which arrived from 6pm onwards. Once that set in, that was when we triggered the precautionary inspection.

“I wouldn’t say the rain wasn’t forecast, but things took a turn for the worse at that sort of time, having previously been looking reasonably OK.

“We looked just after 7am this morning and unfortunately after just under half an inch of rain, in Flat racing terms, it’s left the track very patchy, with false patches in places you frankly can’t avoid.

“The jumps racing on Saturday won’t be an issue, but in Flat racing terms the inconsistency of the ground is quite dramatic in some places after that rain and it wasn’t fit for purpose.”

Sandown's clerk of the course Andrew Cooper
Sandown’s clerk of the course Andrew Cooper (Simon Cooper/PA)

Cooper confirmed no inspection is planned ahead of the bet365 Gold Cup meeting on Saturday and is hopeful the key Flat races lost from Friday’s card will be rearranged.

“The outlook is dry and there shouldn’t be any problems of significant nature on the jumps course. There is certainly no issue in terms of the racing going ahead,” Cooper added.

“I would think those discussions will kick in (regarding rescheduling Friday’s races). The British Horseracing Authority will lead on that as ultimately they’re their Pattern races.

“They are important races at this time of the season, so I’m sure every effort will be made to reprogramme some if not all of the Group races.”