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Cheltenham inspection 01.01.10

Walking the course: Cheltenham's card gets go-ahead a third inspection

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Cheltenham card gets go-ahead to continue

CHELTENHAM will continue Friday's high-class card following a third inspection after the first race.

Frozen ground concerns voiced by jockeys and trainers following the runningof the opening novice hurdle at 12.30, led to another check, but officials have given the go-ahead for the card to continue.

That race went ahead after the course passed an 11.30 inspection, which was called after a look at 10am proved inconclusive.

Races will be run with half-hour intervals starting at 1.40, which will be the rearranged 1.05.

Not all trainers are satisfied with the decision and a host of non-runners have been the result.

Seven horses - half the field - were withdrawn from the 3m2½f handicap chase, while three - including Punchestowns and Bensalem - have been ruled out of the Grade 2 Dipper Novices' Chase, leaving just Seven Is My Number and PigeonIsland to go to post.

Will Kennedy, who rode in the opener, said: "I didn't like the ground - it was inconsistent. It was meant to be soft, heavy in places but there was not a bit of kickback.

"I would not have called it safe and wouldn't want to run a horse on it."

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