'I'm hopeful we'll be frost-free by Thursday' - Cheltenham clerk optimistic over chances of racing

Jon Pullin: will look to deploy frost covers for protection ahead of Saturday's Trials day meeting
Jon Pullin: will look to deploy frost covers for protection ahead of Saturday's Trials day meetingCredit: Edward Whitaker

Clerk of the course Jon Pullin remains optimistic that Saturday’s Trials day at Cheltenham will go ahead, with frost covers expected to be deployed later in the week.

The track was hit with a minor setback on Tuesday after temperatures reached -6.5C overnight, but Pullin is confident his team will be able to handle conditions due to a positive forecast in the coming days.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon he said: "Unfortunately we had a sharp frost last night and more than what was forecast. We thought it'd be between -3C and -4C, but it got down to -6.5C and it has pushed us back a little today.

"Temperatures have risen to 6C today and on Wednesday we're expecting the daytime figures to read between 7C and 8C, which will certainly help. 

"We might just get down to 0C on Wednesday night, but Thursday is another positive day with temperatures at 5C and 6C."

Cheltenham will host nine races on its Trials day card on Saturday, including the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase. The first race is at 11.40am.

Pullin said: "I'm hopeful we'll be frost-free by Thursday afternoon. If we are then we may look to cover the track for protection because we're expecting temperatures of -1C on Friday night into Saturday morning.

"Just before this cold spell started, we were looking like we'd be clear of it all last weekend, but it kept creeping forward. It's due to be like this until the end of the week and it's certainly longer than we were anticipating."

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Liam HeaddReporter
Published on 24 January 2023Last updated 18:53, 24 January 2023