Cheltenham started lifting the frost covers shortly after 10amPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Cheltenham passes 10.30am inspection
THE start of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival will only be delayed by 35 minutes rather than a day after the course passed a 10.30am inspection.
Overnight wind chill, which lowered the temperature to -12C and allowed frost to get into the ground, put day one of the four-day meeting in doubt, but racing goes ahead with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle due off at 2.05pm rather than the original time of 1.30pm.
The course for the Cross Country Chase, which has been moved to 5.45pm, will face a further inspection at 2.15pm.
Ian Renton, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said just after 10.30am: "Conditions have improved markedly since 6am and the Chase and Hurdle course have been passed fit for racing.
"We will be starting at 2.05pm and are holding a further inspection for the Cross Country course at 2.15pm, with that race moved to final contest on the card at 5.45pm. We are hopeful that the Cross Country course will also be raceable."
New running order
2.05 William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle
2.40 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase
3.20 JLT Specialty Chase
4.00 Stan James Champion Hurdle
4.40 OLBG Mares' Hurdle
5.15 Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase
5.45 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase