Wetherby should beat weather – Sanderson

Jonjo Sanderson
Jonjo Sanderson
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Officials at Wetherby expect no problems ahead of Saturday’s meeting if the forecast is correct.

While the course had a light dusting of snow yesterday afternoon, positive temperatures today are expected to shift that and temperatures are not due to dip much below freezing, if at all.

“There’s some rain and sleet forecast but we are not expecting any more snow,” said clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson yesterday. “It is supposed to be a dry day on Friday with temperatures of 4C or 5C and the same for Saturday.

“If that is how it turns out I don’t envisage any problems at all. Obviously, if it hasn’t shifted by Friday afternoon we may have to take a look but as yet we are not planning an inspection.”

Over in Ireland, connections of exciting prospect Open Eagle are eagerly-awaiting his hurdling debut.

Immediate options for the former David O’Meara-trained November Handicap winner’s first run for Willie Mullins come at Fairyhouse on Saturday and Punchestown on Sunday.

Steve Massey, of owners the Supreme Horse Racing Club, said: “Willie has given him plenty of time to settle in, it’s a different environment and different gallops and everything so there’s been no rush.

“He’s got plenty of experience on the Flat but it’s different over hurdles.

“When Willie came to us and he told us there was a chance of buying him, we couldn’t really believe it.

“He won the November Handicap like a class act but has also got plenty of stamina so I don’t think two and a half over hurdles will be a bother.”

Carruthers, though, will miss the Betway West Wales National at Ffos Las tomorrow after an 11th hour setback.

Mark Bradstock’s 12-year-old, who won the race two years ago, had been an intended runner but trod on a stone and will not recover in time.

Bradstock’s wife, Sara, said: “We’ll look at running him in some veterans’ races now.”