Storm Babet decimates Friday racing as Fakenham and Uttoxeter abandoned; Redcar goes ahead

Friday’s jumps fixtures at Fakenham and Uttoxeter have been called off as Storm Babet continues to bring heavy rain and strong winds across the country.

Both tracks had called inspections for 7.30am but neither venue will race due to the weather conditions.

Uttoxeter had 12mm of rain overnight, with clerk of the course Richard Fothergill anticipating a further 20mm at least over the day.

He said: “We had the 12mm overnight but in the hour after I walked the course at 7am, we had a further 5mm. The forecasts are for upwards of 20mm, with some even saying 40mm.

“We were raceable yesterday, but we didn’t have much scope for more.”

Fakenham clerk of the course David Hunter felt a combination of factors had gone against the Norfolk venue.

He said: “We had 17mm by 6.15-6.30am this morning which was fine, but the problem is what is to come with our forecaster saying we could get 30-40mm, with the worst rain moving in around lunchtime.

“We have a drainage ditch that runs through the course from surrounding farmland with a pond that can overflow onto the track, we also couldn’t guarantee safety vehicles would be able to access all areas of the track and obviously horse and rider safety is paramount.

“Given the weather is not ideal for travelling either, we felt it best to make an early decision.”

Redcar’s Flat meeting has been given the go-ahead after passing a morning inspection, although officials at the track will continue to monitor the forecast strong winds – a proviso that also applies to Newcastle’s evening meeting on the all-weather.

Saturday’s National Hunt card at Stratford has been cancelled due to a waterlogged track, with 31mm of rain overnight and more forecast.

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