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Monday, 21 January, 2019

Claisse hails 'perfect' conditions as course officially good on final day

Simon Claisse has praised the work of Cheltenham ground staff
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Simon Claisse says conditions at Cheltenham on the morning of the Timico Gold Cup are "perfect", with the going on both the hurdle and chase courses described as good all over.

The clerk of the course at Prestbury Park said that while the ground had continued to dry heading into Friday morning, there had been no further watering since Wednesday evening.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Claisse said: "We've had a dry night and it's slightly cooler this morning with just a touch of frost on the grass. Conditions have dried a little in the last 24 hours, the boys have been busy out on the track until late in the night and we've opened up a fresh strip of ground all the way round the inside of the mile and a half loop.

"The going is good all round on both the chase and the hurdle tracks. Our anticipation always was that whatever (watering) we had to do on Wednesday night would carry us through the week unless we'd had a blisteringly hot day on Thursday, which we didn't.

"I would describe these conditions today as near on perfect."

Reflecting on conditions throughout the week, Claisse added: "It seems to have been a long time since we've had (a week with conditions like this).

"We did have to water on Wednesday night, which is a long job for the team. It takes them until 1am and they're back here at 7am to do a whole load of other things, so great credit to them for what they have achieved."

Racing once again takes place on the New course on Friday, with the JCB Triumph Hurdle kicking things off at 1.30. The first five races of the day will be broadcast on ITV, with the whole card available on Racing UK.

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We've had a dry night and it's slightly cooler this morning with just a touch of frost on the grass
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