Testing ground for big Newcastle card

Testing ground for big Newcastle card

Testing conditions are expected for Newcastle’s big jumps meeting on Saturday, featuring the Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
Heavy rain over the last day or so has seen the ground ease to soft, heavy in places.
Clerk of the course James Armstrong has also to deal with the prospect of lower temperatures on Thursday before they pick up again for the weekend.
As a precaution, covers are being deployed on all vulnerable areas.
“It’s been a bit miserable for the last 24 hours. We are now soft, heavy in places. We’ve had just over an inch of rain now which is rather frustrating,” said Armstrong.
“We’ve been getting heavy showers coming off the east coast and tonight it’s supposed to get quite cool and get down to -1C. It should be a cool day tomorrow with the odd wintry shower coming in off the coast.
“Temperatures pick up again on Friday to between two and five degrees and then Saturday should be anything between five and eight. I don’t think there will be a problem. The ground will be quite testing by Saturday.
“All landings and take-offs are covered, all hurdle sites and crossings – anywhere that is vulnerable, just in case it remains colder than forecast. The more rain we get, the more testing it is likely to become.”
Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air is due to make his seasonal reappearance in the feature race on the card.

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