Stewards preparing for an unplayable Rosehill track on Golden Slipper day

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel says while contingency plans are being discussed it is hard to make firm decisions regarding the weather ahead of Saturday’s big Golden Slipper meeting at Rosehill.

Greater Sydney is expected to get a drenching in the lead-up to Australia’s biggest Group 1 race meeting of the year.

The Rosehill track was rated a Soft 7 at 8.10am on Thursday after 9.5mm of rain fell on the track in the previous 24 hours, taking the seven-day rainfall total to 53mm.

But it’s the amount of rain being tipped in the next 48 hours that has officials scurrying to prepare should the meeting not proceed.

A mud-splatted Jason Collett after riding in the Golden Eagle last year. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Rosehill’s racecourse manager Shaun Patterson uses a weather forecaster called UBIMET, an international weather service that has developed into one of the largest and fastest-growing independent providers of meteorological services in the world.

The UBIMET forecast for the remainder of Thursday at Rosehill is for 16.8mm of rain before another 15.9mm of rain is expected to fall on Friday.

The rain is expected to intensify on Saturday – UBIMET’s six-hourly forecast is for 11mm between midnight and 6am, 11.7mm between 6am and midday and a further 13.3mm from midday to 6pm.

Heavy conditions at Rosehill. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

“It’s difficult to make contingencies when most of the rain is forecast on race day,” Van Gestel said.

“We’ll be able to handle what’s predicted today and tomorrow it’s what’s predicted for Saturday.

“If what they’re predicting comes to fruition, then that will obviously make it difficult but we’ll do what we can.

In 2017 The Golden Slipper day meeting was run on a Heavy 10 track which was Van Gestel said was “as heavy as they get” while stewards were forced to delay Doncaster Mile day in 2015 from the scheduled date of Saturday April 4 to the following Monday.

Last year The Inglis Millennium and Inglis Sprint were added to a Wednesday card after the Saturday meeting was abandoned due to torrential rain.

She Will Reign wins the 2017 Golden Slipper. Photo: Jason McCawley/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

“It what occurs on raceday and that’s a decision we have to make on race morning with regards to ‘where do we go’,” Van Gestel said.

“We’re obviously looking to proceed but we obviously need to ensure that we are proactive as well.”

Originally published asContingency plan on table for wet Slipper day

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