Fingers crossed that Northumberland Plate will go ahead at Newcastle racecourse tomorrow

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

THURSDAY’s torrential rain could claim another victim - the North-East’s biggest horse race.

Racing fans face an anxious wait for tomorrow's inspection at Newcastle Racecourse that will determine whether the Northumberland Plate, known as the Pitman’s Derby, is run.

The three-day Plate festival’s last race on Thursday was abandoned due to the weather and today’s racing was called off entirely.

A Racecourse spokesman said: "We are very disappointed to announce that racing has been abandoned at Newcastle Racecourse for the BetFred Gosforth Park Cup Night due to unsafe ground, concerns over public safety and integrity issues surrounding British Horseracing Authority rules.

"An inspection will take place on Saturday morning before the Northumberland Plate Raceday.

"No significant rainfall is forecast over the next two days and we are doing everything possible to ensure that racing will go ahead as planned on Saturday.

"Those with tickets for the BetFred Gosforth Park Cup Night are encouraged to transfer their tickets to an alternative fixture - except the New County Beeswing Ladies Day - including the John Smiths Northumberland Plate Race Day on Saturday June 30.

"Alternatively, as per our terms and conditions, customers can apply for a full refund.

"To organise a ticket transfer or a refund please call the Racecourse Office on 0191-236 2020 or e-mail info@newcastle-racecourse.co.uk"

The traditional Hoppings Fair on Newcastle’s Town Moor resumes tonight after a safety inspection and is due to complete its final day tomorrow.

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