Cheltenham: Organisers confident over weather

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Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse is satisfied the Festival can go ahead without a hitch, despite a freezing cold Monday in the Cotswolds.

The whole of the Old Course (used for the first two days of the meeting), the New Course (for the second half) and vulnerable areas of the Cross Country track are under 65 acres-worth of black frost covers.

It snowed briefly on occasions during a bitterly cold morning and afternoon yesterday and the blankets will not be removed until as late as possible today.

“We’ve looked under the covers and the ground is perfectly raceable and we can go on with confidence provided nothing unexpected happens,” said Claisse. “When I walked the course at the weekend it was soft and I think the Festival should start with soft going tomorrow, but I am guessing because I won’t know until the frost covers 
are lifted.

“We actually recorded a windchill temperature of minus 9C early this morning but it should rise to as high as 4C tomorrow.”