Southwell abandoned but Cheltenham all set to race

The New Year’s Day National Hunt meeting at Southwell has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track, but no obvious issues are expected at Cheltenham.

Southwell was hit by 15 millimetres of rain overnight, on top of 36mm since Christmas, leaving standing water in places and some areas of false ground on the bends.

Following no improvement throughout Sunday morning, and with further rain forecast, racing was called off after a 1pm inspection.

Cheltenham’s Relkeel Hurdle card is set to be run on testing ground but the track is in good shape to cope.

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Clerk of the course Jon Pullin said: “We had 15mm overnight and updated the ground this morning to heavy, so far today we’ve just had another couple and there is nothing too much more in the forecast.

“There are still some showers around for today but nothing of too much volume and we should then be dry overnight and dry in the morning.

“There are some showers around tomorrow but most forecasts are suggesting heavier showers after racing – we might just get one or two lighter showers during racing.

“Certainly, at the moment everything is OK, unless we get any surprises later on, then we don’t anticipate any issues.”

An early decision was made regarding Wednesday’s fixture at Ffos Las, where there is also standing water in places.

The Welsh track received 31mm of rain over the last few days and 70mm during the past week, with the risk of another band to come.

Sunday’s New Year’s Eve jumps meetings at Uttoxeter and Warwick both had to be abandoned due to waterlogged tracks.

Each venue had called early-morning inspections due to poor weather forecasts and their worst fears were realised.

Uttoxeter was hit by a further 10.5mm of rain on saturated ground, leaving the course unraceable, with standing water in places.

Warwick brought forward their inspection following 20mm of rain overnight, which made it 54.5mm since last Monday and left the track waterlogged.

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