Weather watch at Wetherby Racecourse ahead of two-day festive meet

WETHERBY Racecourse chiefs say they will be doing everything in their power to make sure next week’s two-day Welcome To Yorkshire Christmas meeting takes place.

The Yorkshire track is set to host its annual showpiece on Boxing Day and December 27 but the heavy rain which has lashed the region over the last couple of days, and is set to continue into the weekend, might yet threaten the action.

Jonjo Sanderson, chief executive and clerk of the course, said yesterday of the conditions: “Understandably, following more heavy rainfall during the last 36 hours, many will be wondering what the prospects are for the Welcome To Yorkshire Christmas Meeting taking place on December 26 and 27.

“Following 36 millimetres of rainfall between 6pm on Wednesday and the early hours of Friday, the back straight adjacent to York Road has flooded as a result of the dykes and becks that carry our storm water from the racecourse to the River Nidd backing up, which is as a consequence of the current height of the river itself. Put simply, the water has nowhere to go.

“A further band of heavy rain arrives today. Thereafter, the forecast from tomorrow onwards is for dry and sunny days, which will hopefully allow the river level to drop and the excess water to drain off the course and into the dykes.

“So far as racing on Wednesday and Thursday goes, it will be a question of waiting to see if the water can subside quickly enough.

“At this stage, we do not envisage any decisions being taken on whether to abandon racing or not, until the morning of the race meeting on Wednesday, December 26.

“We will try everything in our power to ensure that racing takes place on both days of the Welcome To Yorkshire Christmas meeting and your patience and understanding at this time is much appreciated.”

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