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Cross Country course - Cheltenham - 2000

The cross-country race at Cheltenham will take place as planned

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( 

Cross-country course passes third inspection

CHELTENHAM will host a full quota of racing this afternoon as  the cross-country track passed a third inspection at noon.

Following inspections at 8am and 10am, the course was still frozen in parts, but thawed sufficiently come noon.

There are no problems with the hurdles and chase courses, with the going good to soft, soft in places.

Bangor's meeting for this afternoon will take place as planned as the track passed a second inspection at 9am.

Officials were confident of racing following an initial check at 8am, but wanted to look again once it was daylight.

Clerk of the course Andrew Morris said: "We were very hopeful but it was just so dark that we couldn't be convinced we would make a proper assessment. Now that it is daylight we are happy all the frost has come out."

The going is soft, good to soft in places, but that could change as Morris added that up to ten millimetres of rain is forecast.

Saturday inspections have been called at Carlisle and Musselburgh for 3pm, although officials at both tracks are hopeful of racing.

Harriet Graham clerk of the course for Musselburgh, said: "We're currently frozen but have a pretty positive forecast with wind, rain and milder temperatures from today [Friday] onwards. We would hope to be raceable by Saturday, but need the mild weather to come in."

Kirkland Tellwright, clerk of the course at Carlisle, echoed Graham's sentiments. He said: "We're in with a sporting chance with the forecast milder weather."

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