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Rain overnight eases Aintree going

The official going at Aintree for the three-day Grand National meeting, which starts on Thursday, was changed to good to soft on Monday morning following 7.5mm of rain overnight.

The description is good to soft on all courses, with the Grand National course changed from good to soft, good in places. The Mildmay (chase and hurdle) was previously good, good to soft in places.

Clerk of the course Sulekha Varma took the decision not to water on Sunday and was appreciative of the rain.

She said: “We are not expecting a deluge, but certainly expecting rain over the next couple of days. There is still some uncertainty in the forecast.

“We had a good drop of rain – 7.5mm last night – which has been a huge help, as we have been pretty much dry since March 11.

“We had that hot period as well, when the ground staff were out there in shorts and tee-shirts. It is breezy now as well. We are expecting a dry day today and there might just be the odd shower around.”

Officials opted not to continue watering on Sunday due to the uncertain forecasts, after 5mm was applied on Friday and Saturday.

Rain is forecast at Aintree
Rain is forecast at Aintree (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Some forecasts are predicting wintry conditions over the next few days, and Varma is taking a watching brief.

She added: “It looks like there is more rain coming tonight. The challenge is the forecasts are all different. They are slowly coming together to a bit more of a consensus, but we are not quite there.

“We are expecting another 3mm-6mm tonight and showers on Wednesday as well.

“Thursday, Friday and Saturday are looking mostly dry at the moment. At one time they were suggesting it was heavy rain on Friday, but that seems to have petered out.

“The other thing is the showers could be quite wintry. There is a bit of a cold front and they are not quite sure where that front is going to settle. The good thing is, they say the snow will be over high ground, but it has the potential to be a bit wintry – in April!

“We are just having to take it day by day. We are certainly hoping that through to Thursday we won’t need to water again.

“We are good to soft on all three courses. If we get that rain tonight, with the upper end of that 6mm, we would be good to soft, soft in places, probably.”

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