Aintree enjoyed another rain-free night ahead of the start of the Martell Cognac Grand National meeting this afternoon.
Clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch has been forced to adopt a vigorous watering policy to try and ensure safe ground for all three days, which culminate with the world’s most famous steeplechase on Saturday.
“It’s been incredibly dry, we haven’t had any proper rain here since March 8. We’ve been watering for a good 10 days,” he told attheraces this morning.
“We made the decision to start watering because of the long-range forecast. Any event like this you’re keeping in touch with the Met Office all the time and they’ve actually been very accurate.
“We had six millimetres of rain earlier in the week but I’m also involved with Carlisle and Cartmel and they had 11 and 12 millimetres so I was actually quite hopeful (of more) but we only had six.
“We had a drying day yesterday and put some water on the Mildmay and hurdle courses overnight and we will keep monitoring the National course.
“The horses come first and that’s very important for us.
“We made a lot of investment this year in our watering equipment which I’m very grateful for. Three months ago, when we made the decision we were going to make some big improvements, none of us could have foreseen we would have been running into this long dry period.”
Tulloch described the going on the Mildmay and hurdle courses as good, with the ground on the National course currently good, good to soft in places.