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Soggy day at the races at Lingfield Park
It was certainly a soggy day at the races at Lingfield Park last Friday when the heavens opened over East Surrey.
But while elsewhere schools were closed, trains were cancelled, drivers fumed over delays on flooded roads, and entire fields turned into lakes and rivers, the full day's racing went ahead at the course – despite the monsoon-like conditions.
The centre of the course in Racecourse Road was completely flooded, but Clerk of the Course, Neil Mackenzie Ross, was proved right in his confidence that Lingfield could withstand the downpours.
While the turf track turned into a mini-ocean, the all-weather track remained usable.
Mr Mackenzie Ross said: “The Polytrack is designed to cope with this weather.”
Acknowledging punters might well have had problems getting to the course, he said: “We will be racing. You can always rely on Lingfield Park to keep going!”
Social media channels kept customers updated on the latest developments, and local resident Paul Pirie tweeted: ‘@LingfieldPark are runners and riders swimming today @ #lingfield races?’ Racecourse commentator Richard Hoiles posted a picture on twitter, saying: ‘@RichardHoiles: Tide coming in at Lingfield’.
At the Races TV presenter Gina Bryce joked: ‘I think I could have canoed from Oxted to @LingfieldPark Whole area is underwater, roads flooded. Hope all the runners make it safely’.
Groundstaff at Lingfield Park Resort had spent the previous day clearing fallen trees from land near the racecourse in an effort to clear the area in the wake of the continuing storms.