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Cheltenham Festival Soft Going conditions


Cheltenham is going to be the epicenter of global horse racing starting this Tuesday and the famous festival has had some interesting weather issues developing over the last few days as there is likely to be a bit of snow in the forecast for at least a few days of the jumps racing showpiece. 




Clerk of the course Simon Claisse spoke to the media on Saturday and was full of confident that the de facto world championships of steeplechasing would enjoy optimum conditions with soft ground expected both at the start and at the end of the festival. 


The use of frost covers were deployed for the first time this year and further rain in the past few days has seen the going remain soft on all tracks - this includes the Old course as well. 


Punters should expect the covers to come out on the New course starting today with an eye towards Thursday and Friday’s racing. The forecast on Tuesday is expected to be cold with showers also predicted so it’s not worth expecting things to dry out in any capacity. 


Claisse also declared that he expected the weather to improve as the week goes on, but did clarify that there was a chance things could be rated soft in places at times. 


The clerk of the course was also quick to dispel any rumours that the grounds crew wouldn’t be able to handle this situation or that they were being forced out of their element in any way. “We have now used frost covers on eight occasions since the 2007-08 season and have raced on all occasions when they were deployed, including when we have experienced more prolonged and colder spells than the one-and-a-half-day snap that is due to run until Tuesday afternoon.”

Several meetings have already been cancelled for Monday with others due for inspection. 


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