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All-weather switch for Derby and Oaks trials.

THIS weekend's Derby and Oaks Trials at Lingfield will be run on the all-weather after course officials made the early decision to abandon all the turf races on Friday and Saturday's cards.

The Surrey circuit has been hit by some substantial rainfall over the weekend, leaving the turf course waterlogged in places.

With more rain on the way, clerk of the course Neil Mackenzie Ross feels it is sensible to make an early switch to the all-weather and he is hopeful the two major Betfred-sponsored Classic trials will remain competitive after speaking to some trainers.

He said: "We had a wet weekend.

We had another 10 millimetres of rain and that falling on already saturated ground has left us waterlogged in places.

"We're forecast to get up to another inch of rain on Wednesday and there is no way the turf course will be raceable.

"I think making an early decision to switch to the all-weather lets everyone know where they stand and having spoken to the connections of quite a few of the horses entered in the Oaks and Derby trials, there has been great support.

"Doing things this way leaves us pretty much guaranteed to be racing on Saturday, which is fantastic news. It would have been very bleak if we'd left it and had to abandon racing on Saturday."

Mackenzie Ross confirmed that while the entries for Friday's races would stand, Saturday's entries will be reopened until noon today.

Meanwhile, Stratford's meeting today has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Course officials called off the jumps fixture after 21.4 millimetres of rain fell on Monday night.

The Warwickshire circuit has now had to withstand 175mm of rain within the last 30 days.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 9, 2012
Words:287
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