Both the turf meetings were called off yesterday because of waterlogging and may herald the recent weather's increasing effect. Tomorrow's scheduled meetings at Exeter and Hereford have already gone, and while Nottingham should race, any more rain would endanger the prospect of action at Sandown.
The Esher course may then join the hit list for Saturday, which seems certain to be headed by Towcester, the scene of an inspection this afternoon. Wetherby and Chepstow report heavy ground, and if conditions at the latter course deteriorate the reappearance of last season's Sun Alliance Chase winner, Miinnehoma, in the Rehearsal Chase, is likely to be washed away.
Martin Pipe's gelding was yesterday installed as the 10-1 favourite by Coral for the Welsh National at the same course later this month. The Wellington trainer likes this prize, having collected it three times in the last four years with Bonanza Boy (1988 and 1989) and Carvill's Hill 12 months ago, and has obviously yet to be sated.
Miinnehoma is one of nine entries from Pipe's Somerset yard, a battery of horses which also includes Chatam, Rushing Wild and Run For Free, one of three co- second favourites on 12-1 with Belmount Captain and Captain Dibble.
Miinnehoma's regular rider, Peter Scudamore, dropped down another place in the jockeys' championship yesterday when Adrian Maguire took advantage of the champion's inactivity to ride a double at Huntingdon and move into third place with 46 winners.
The Irishman made no impression on Peter Niven however, as the northern-based jockey rode a double of his own, at Catterick, to register his half-century, 11 winners behind title leader Richard Dunwoody.Reuse content