Racing: Chandler may be run on Friday

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The Independent Online
THE CHANCE of the Victor Chandler Chase taking place today depends on the weathermen getting their forecast wrong. Ascot's clerk of the course, Nick Cheyne, will inspect the track at 8am and only the non-arrival of the substantial rain that is forecast will allow the card to proceed.

"If the forecast is correct, I wouldn't be over-optimistic," Cheyne said yesterday as the rain fell on his course. "According to the Weather Centre there is an intense band of rain moving down at between 9pm and 10pm, through to 5am or 6am."

Should the meeting fall to the weather, the Victor Chandler will be staged on Ascot's fixture next Friday.

The meeting at Warwick must also pass an inspection, at 7.45am. "At the moment we are very much raceable," the clerk of the course, Lisa Rowe, said. "The forecast is the only thing giving me concern." One man taking particular interest in those forecasts will be Martin Pipe, who has declared 10 horses in Warwick's qualifier for the Cheltenham Festival's Stakis Casinos Handicap Hurdle.

Today's other turf card, at Newcastle, where the feature race is the Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase, looks safe. The clerk of the course, David McAllister, reported: "We have got gale force winds, but those are due to come down slowly during the evening, and tomorrow sunshine and showers."

n The following horses are doubly-engaged today. The second preference is in parentheses. Jathib 3.40 Warwick (1.45 Ascot); Konvekta King 1.45 Ascot (3.40 Warwick); Rainwatch 3.10 Warwick (2.50 Ascot).