Haydock ‘minor miracle’ as track fit for racing after heavy rain

Haydock unexpectedly survived its track inspection this morning ahead of Saturday's scheduled card.

Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright was expecting to abandon the meeting, which features the Peter Marsh Chase, plus the return of dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D'Air.

The ground was waterlogged in places on Wednesday, yet when Tellwright walked the course earlier he was surprised to find that was no longer the case.

"We have had 93mm of rain in three days and that's not far off four inches," he said.

"Yesterday afternoon there was standing water in places.

"I went to have a look this morning and was expecting to find similar, but it has gone.

"We are fit to race at the moment. It's a minor miracle."

Ten runners were declared for the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Chase, including impressive recent winner Royal Pagaille.

The Venetia Williams-trained seven-year-old will have to give upwards of 4lb to his rivals in the staying contest.

Buveur D'Air has two opponents for his long-awaited reappearance run in The New One Unibet Hurdle; Ballyandy and Navajo Pass.

Haydock's next inspection, at 8am tomorrow morning, is described as precautionary.

"It could get down to -2C on Friday night and if that is correct the meeting should go ahead," added Tellwright.

"There is only three runners in The New One Unibet Hurdle but it looks an interesting race, with last year's winner Ballyandy coming up against Buveur D'Air."

Ludlow and Wincanton were given the green light to stage Thursday's cards, after both tracks coped with further rain overnight.

Ffos Las were not so lucky however and had to cancel Friday's fixture.

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