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Heavy rain could decimate Thursday's cards with four meetings facing inspections

The prolonged wet weather could have a big impact on the racing calendar on Thursday, with four of the five British meetings subject to inspections.

Heavy rain has fallen in large parts of the country and with more forecast overnight, morning checks have been called for the afternoon fixtures at Yarmouth and Nottingham and evening cards at Uttoxeter and Haydock.

Officials at Yarmouth and Haydock, where meetings were staged on heavy ground on Wednesday, have arranged 7am inspections, Nottingham and Uttoxeter will assess conditions at 8am.

On Wednesday, Haydock clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright said: "From last Thursday onwards we've had well over 75mm of rain. We'll have opened up the ground up today and it's set to rain through the night and tomorrow, so it's best to check where we are in the morning."

The ground at Nottingham was on Wednesday described as heavy, soft in places and at Uttoxeter it was soft, heavy in places, with both courses reporting 40mm of rain in the previous 24 hours.

Trainer Tom Dascombe believes the watering of racecourses earlier in the Flat season has contributed to the situation.

Speaking at Haydock on Wednesday after Ursulina had won the two-year-old fillies' novice stakes, he said: "Well done to Haydock for keeping racing on but the small field sizes we've got today are a reason for not watering in April and May. The watering of racecourses in the spring is a serious problem and they shouldn't be able to do it until August."

There was a late switch of tracks at Haydock for Wednesday's fixture due to a collapsed drain on the inside course.

"We've had to move on to the stands' side home straight as a drain failed on the inner track," said Tellwright. "The ground has just gone very stodgy where the drain is. It's not fit to be used for a Flat race."

The inner track is unlikely to be ready for use until after the Old Newton Cup meeting on July 6.

Wednesday's evening meeting at Kempton was cancelled after a major water pipe burst in the Hampton Court area, leaving the track without any water supply.

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