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Watering Begins Ahead of Cheltenham Festival


Punters all across the land will be keeping an eye firmly-fixed on the day-to-day going reports being released by Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse. Despite a forecast for rain and possibly even snow in the next few days, watering has already begun as groundspeople attempt to keep the going from getting too fast.

Speaking to the Racing Post, Claisse explained “it has been dry here for ten days, apart from 1mm that fell on Tuesday night last week, and the ground is becoming quicker by the day.”

From an official standpoint, Thursday’s going at Cheltenham was declared good to soft, good in places. Claisse declared that, had watering not already begun, the ground would be closer to goo, goo to soft in places.

A number of top contenders at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival will be counting on softer going and they’ll be expecting a number of withdrawals should the groundscrew lose the drying-out battle.

Claisse has reiterated that the surface situation this time around has been a lot more straightforward than last year and that the situation is under control. “We’ve already said we won’t take a risk by letting the ground become too fast. We need 6-7mm on the course by Tuesday just to keep the ground as it is.”

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