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Newmarket watering ahead of Guineas meeting

With the forecast of a dry week ahead of the first two British Classics of the season, officials at Newmarket will continue watering the Rowley Mile course on Monday.

The going is officially described as Good (Good to Firm in places) and clerk of the course Michael Prosser expects to maintain those ground conditions for Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas and Sunday’s 1000 Guineas.

Rain is absent from most forecasts and daytime temperatures for the next seven days set are to reach a maximum of between 12C to 14C, making it cooler than average for the time of year.

“The long-range forecast is dry into next week and into the following week after the Guineas,” said Prosser.

“Temperatures will be below the seasonal average from Monday onwards, with lighter winds, mostly form the north east, although they could flick round to the north west by Sunday looking at some of the forecasts.

“There is a northerly wind of some description, so hence it is cooler. At the moment, the ground is Good (Good to Firm in places).

“We watered on Wednesday and again on Friday/Saturday and the plan is to water again on Monday, and then we will take a decision on what the irrigation strategy will be after that.

“I’m extremely happy with the condition of the course itself. There has been good grass growth. The Guineas’ ground has not been raced upon since last autumn, because we differentiate between the Craven side and the Guineas side. They race on the stands’ side for the Qipco Guineas Festival.

“We will walk the course on Monday morning to get a GoingStick reading and get an updated weather forecast, but I would think we would put on somewhere in the region of another half an inch of water (on Monday).

“We are in a good place. I walked the course on Sunday morning and bumped into a trainer who has an intended runner in the 2000 Guineas.

“He was delighted with the condition of the course and he concurred with my view that it was Good (Good to Firm), and now it is a question of maintaining that position.”

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