Trainer Lee praying for more rain but Hannon is downcast
16:31 GMT, 26 April 2012
Drenched Britain is on course for the
wettest April on record but trainer Richard Lee is praying for even more
rain at Sandown for his Bet365 Chase favourite Le Beau Bai.
Lee fears that it the ground will
not be testing enough for his Welsh National winning mudlark who is the
6-1 favourite for Saturday's chase.
Soft option: Trainer Richard Lee
The two-day mixed fixture opens on Friday with a Flat programme on heavy ground but the chase course is only good to soft, soft in places.
Lee added: 'It is not as soft as some people think at Sandown so we are hoping for more rain. He is not well handicapped but the going is what really matters for this horse.'
Le Beau Bai, who was pulled out of the Grand National when the ground dried up, will be ridden for the first time by Jamie Moore because normal jockey Charlie Poste is suspended.
Meanwhile, connections of Richard Hannon-trained Dubawi Gold have warned they will pull out of their clash with Dermot Weld's Famous Name in the Bet365 Mile if conditions are too extreme.
Hannon has won six of the last eight running of the group two contest and his colt makes his British comeback after an abortive trip to Dubai where he had to be pulled out of the Dubai Duty Free won by Cityscape after kicking out in the starting stalls and skinning his leg.
Tim Jones, racing manager to owner Andrew Tinkler, said: 'We are just hoping the ground will be bearable. None of the horses in the race will have experienced ground like it. If it looks absolutely atrocious by race time there is a chance we won't run. There is no point ripping the heart out of him at this stage of the season.'