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  • #21099
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    With a water shortage looking a real possibility this summer in many parts of the country, which courses have their own water supply that they will be allowed to use for watering, and which are going to end up hard and cracked?

    Ascot seems to have its own lake. Anyone know about Newmarket, how have they fared during water restrictions in the past?

    • Total Posts 5957

    The Racing Post has a note that Kelso ‘will water as necessary to maintain’ the good ground. Damned near unheard of in Scotland at this time of year. Kelso do have their own reservoir down by the furlong pole.


    % MAN
    • Total Posts 5104

    Ascot seems to have its own lake.

    Don’t be fooled by courses which appear to have lakes.

    Towcester, for example, looks well endowed with water but the lakes are, in fact, ornamental and are only a couple of inches deep – they have to abstract water from local rivers and have already been restricted in what they can take by the Environment Agency.

    I can’t recall off the top of my head which one it is but there is also another course which is no longer able to abstract water – I think it may be Fakenham but I’m not 100% sure

    Huntingdon does have a lake from which water can be extracted but as Andrew Morris (the former clerk) pointed out to me, in the middle of winter, it is already much lower than it should be.

    I think courses are going to face some real problems this year and if we have a hot summer I would not be surprised if we have small fields, even some abandonments.

    Eclipse First
    • Total Posts 1569

    Newmarket is quite close to the Breckland which is as near to desert as you will find in this country. The vegetation requires very little moisture to be revived, so while it may not suit soft ground plodders, it should be ideal for top class flat horses.

    • Total Posts 1220

    Both Bangor and Chester are a few 100 yards away from rivers, but then we’ve had quite a lot of rain in the North West in last few months!

    Miss Woodford
    • Total Posts 1335

    Churchill Downs had to deal with a


    drought (not a drop of rain from June to November) before the 2010 Breeders Cup. They kept it firm most of the season but softened it for the Europeans (not enough for the connections of Workforce, who I guess didn’t realize that the course was the only green grass in central Kentucky at that point). … -condition

    Del Mar actually irrigates with reclaimed seawater. The grass is kept longer for more cushion.

    • Total Posts 817

    I wonder will we start seeing the official going description of "hard" again?

    • Total Posts 4012

    How about "very" firm? Firmer or most firm?I don’t like the use of hard.

    • Total Posts 2789

    RAIN!! Rain in South Warwickshire. We’ve just had at least 0.001cm. I’m off out to lick the pavement.

    Met Office long range for middle of March onwards is:

    "The largely unsettled theme to the weather is expected to continue at first. However, there are indications of some quieter weather introducing itself during the second half of March, at least across southern parts of the UK, with much drier conditions and below average rainfall. Temperatures are expected to be above average nationwide throughout the period."

    Doesn’t sound good.


    • Total Posts 6965

    I wonder will we start seeing the official going description of "hard" again?

    Bath still produces the occasional officially hard surface, though not at all last season if memory serves.

    Quite agree that we need some serious, sustained rain pretty darn quick to save the spring and summer programme from small fields, though it was quite hard to late the wider view of matters when getting the soaking of one’s life at Tweseldown yesterday. Says something when the snow came as a relief!


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    % MAN
    • Total Posts 5104

    But it is surprising how quickly some heavy rain can change the going dramatically and quickly.

    You only have to look at Huntingdon yesterday, which went from Good to Firm, good in places in the morning to heavy by mid afternoon.

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