Uncertain forecast for Epsom ahead of Derby highlight

Officials at Epsom Downs are keeping a wary eye on the skies ahead of Cazoo Derby day, with rain in some forecasts for the Surrey track.

With the racecourse expecting a sell-out 36,000 crowd on Saturday, as well as thousands more experiencing the day with free entry on the Hill, clerk of the course Andrew Cooper hopes some predictions may be incorrect.

Heavy showers have produced 12 millimetres of rain at the track since Monday evening and the going is officially described as good to soft, soft in places ahead of the two-day meeting, which starts on Friday with the Cazoo Oaks and Coronation Cup as the Group One highlights.

Cooper said on Wednesday afternoon: “There was a spot of rain in the air at 1pm but there was nothing measurable. It increasingly looks like that will be it for today.

“It has brightened up and we are heading into what looks like two dry days with temperatures around 20C, and then heaven knows what is going to happen on Saturday.

“Cazoo Derby day has got the potential to be a bit of a deluge, but you wouldn’t know. If they (the Met Office) don’t know, no-one knows. There is a lot of uncertainty with timings, quantities and that sort of thing.

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Rain is a possibility at Epsom on Saturday
Rain is a possibility at Epsom on Saturday (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“But Saturday, certainly, there is a risk of rain. It will probably be dry between now and then.

“The ground is improving. We will probably be moving towards good to soft, good in places by the end of Wednesday.

“On the basis of where we are now with what we think will happen as far as Friday is concerned, I can see us being at or near good ground and maybe just on the slow side in places. You’d think a couple of dry days at this place, that (description) would be very realistic.”

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