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Rain to determine Sandown meeting fate

A race day track inspection will determine the fate of the Sandown meeting if the expected heavy rain forecast for Melbourne eventuates.

Sandown track manager Tim Bailey says a decision on whether the meeting goes ahead will be determined following a 7am track inspection on Saturday.

The Sandown track was given a good rating on Friday morning.

Bailey is confident the track can handle the forecast amount of rain but what is concerning is rain in the hours leading up to the meeting as well as run-off from surrounding areas.

“The concern is what’s going to happen between 9am and 5pm,” Bailey told RSN927.

“Heavy rain in the hour leading up to the meeting and heavy rain during the meeting, there is massive visibility issues and you get surface water.

“The weather bureau is saying tomorrow is going to be worse than today.”

Bailey says the track inspection will take place with Racing Victoria steward Robert Cram after which they will contact the weather bureau.

He says if it looks likely rain will persist throughout the day, as the bureau is currently advising, then a decision will be made early whether to call the meeting off.

Bailey says while the track drains well after a renovation four years ago, there is a lake in the middle of the course and a number of spillways with concern the back-straight may flood.

“I’ve been here 12 years and it’s happened twice (flooding) and they’re predicting bigger rains than I’ve ever seen in my 12 years here, so that could be an issue too,” he said.

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