Sandown Park are confident that their card on Saturday will beat the weather
Last Updated: 31/12/12 5:13pm
Racing should go ahead at Sandown Park on Saturday
A dry forecast for the rest of the week means that the first Grade 1 race of 2013, the 32Red Hurdle at Sandown Park on Saturday 5th January, is unlikely to be at risk of abandonment.
Although the course is saturated at the moment, Sandown Park's Clerk of the Course, Andrew Cooper, believes that a couple of dry days should be enough to make conditions raceable.
Speaking on Monday, Cooper said, "In all honesty we would struggle to race today - whilst there is little in the way of standing water there are several areas of saturated and potentially false ground which it would be difficult currently to get around.
"We are expecting today to be the last wet day and the rest of the week to be predominantly dry and relatively mild. On that basis, and with some further moving of rails, I believe we can be optimistic of racing here on Saturday. A couple of dry days will, I'm sure, make a massive difference. The ground is bound to remain testing."
The ground is currently Heavy, Soft in Places on the Hurdle course, and Soft, Heavy in Places on the Chase course.
Fresh from a flurry of winners over Christmas, Nicky Henderson hopes to continue his good run by landing the 32Red Hurdle (registered as the Tolworth Hurdle Race) for Novice Hurdlers. The Lambourn trainer, who has won this race for the last two consecutive years, is double handed this year entering both Golden Hoof and Royal Boy.
Other notable entries on the day are Emma Lavelle's Kentford Grey Lady in the 32Red.com Mares Hurdle Race (Listed), who previously won at Sandown Park's Tingle Creek Meeting. The 32Red Casino Handicap Steeple Chase has attracted 15 entries including Philip Hobbs' Snap Tie and Evan William's William's Wishes - who has won six out of his last seven outings.
The afternoon culminates with the most valuable race of the day, the 32Red.com HBLB Handicap Steeple Chase, worth £50,000. Notable entries in this contest are Gary Moore's Fruity O'Rooney, Venetia Williams' Katenko and Jonjo O'Neill's John's Spirit who landed the John Jarvis Novices' Handicap Chase at Sandown Park in early December.
After racing, entertainment will be provided by London's famous Comedy Store, where three of their comedians, Stephen Grant, Jeff Innocent and Louis Ramey will take centre stage for some raucous entertainment to blow away those January blues!
Gates open at 10.45am with the first race at 12.45pm and the last race at 3.40pm. The comedy show will commence at approximately 4.15pm.