Epsom’s Investec Derby Festival looks like starting on soft ground on Friday after the course was saturated with 21 millimetres of rain on Tuesday.
However, with dry weather forecast for both race days, the going could be good to soft at best come the Derby itself on Saturday.
Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper revealed it was the amount of rain that had been a surprise.
He said: “I don’t think anywhere was predicted 20mm in our neck of the woods yesterday. Probably our latest forecast had been suggesting five or six.
“It’s the volumes you might get that is the uncertainty. If it can be from five to 25mm you can’t judge it. It’s different when you get a normal front of rain coming through when we are fairly accurately told are we going to see five or 10mm.
“Because of its nature it’s got the potential to produce some high volumes if you catch them.
“Rain started 10.30 in the morning yesterday when we had about four or five millimetres. After a lull, it did pep up and kicked in about 5pm. By the end of the night we had 21mm in the day as a whole. The bulk of that was in the late afternoon.”
The rain has cleared, but more is expected on Thursday.
Cooper said: “It’s been dry since midnight. It’s been overcast this morning and should stay dry. It might brighten up later on.
“There’s definitely a risk of showers tomorrow and some could be heavy. After that it looks dry for Friday and Saturday. Temperatures will be in the low to mid-20s so hopefully a couple of quite pleasant days.
“It’s definitely soft ground.
“Any appreciable rain tomorrow and we’d be staying soft. If we get the lower end of it, we will very slowly be drying out back towards god to soft. Whether we get there or not time will tell.
“While there is rain in the forecast so the likelihood is we will go into Friday on soft ground.
“The best you’d be looking at would be good to soft at the end of the week.”