Racing returns to Doncaster on Friday after “unprecedented” rainfall saw the track’s final two Flat fixtures and first two jumps meetings lost to waterlogging.
The South Yorkshire course lost the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy meeting in October and the Flat season finale of the November Handicap.
Rain continued to fall before the Town Moor track was due to stage a two-day jumps card, too, so clerk of the course Roderick Duncan is relieved the ground has dried out in time for this week’s fixtures on Friday and Saturday.
“We lost four race days. The Vertem Futurity, the November Handicap and our first two National Hunt fixtures, which were a two-day meeting on Friday and Saturday,” said Duncan.
“Losing the two Flat cards was a big blow as away from the Leger, they’d be two of our biggest, so it was really disappointing.
“We had an unprecedented amount of rain, nothing could have saved them. One lad has worked here 38 years and he’s never seen water stood where it was been.
“The Town Moor golf course in the centre of the track was closed from November Handicap day and only opened last weekend. It was literally a lake in the middle of the course.”
A relatively dry week has helped enormously and while more rain is forecast, there is no doubt over Friday’s card taking place, with a Grade Two novice chase the highlight on Saturday.
“We’re good to soft, soft in places but we are getting rain this afternoon. Anything from two millimetres up to eight, but it will only take us to soft at worse,” said Duncan on Thursday.
“We’re really pleased with the Windsor Avenue versus Sam Spinner clash in the novice chase and we’ll see who runs in the Summit Juvenile Hurdle.”