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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Claisse relishing a nine-race card with echoes of 2008

Simon Claisse: clerk's every meteorological utterance will be hung on
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With nine races stretching from midday until 4.35, Saturday promises an epic day of racing at Cheltenham that clerk of the course Simon Claisse said reminded him of 2008, when high winds caused the Wednesday of the festival to be cancelled the races spread over the following two days. 

He said: "Saturday's card has echoes of the festival of 2008, when the Wednesday was abandoned because of high winds and we ran nine races on Thursday and ten on Friday. This time though we've had a lot more time to prepare.

"It's a card to relish as our last fixture before the festival and we are very lucky to have such quality in the entry, although it's bad luck on Ascot losing the Clarence House Chase to us."

With less cold weather on its way the meeting should not be in any danger. Claisse confirmed: "The colder weather is meant to be leaving us midweek and we could have some rain on Friday and Saturday.

"The hurdles and chase courses are both currently good to soft, and the cross-country mainly good with bits of good to soft. We could have 2mm or 2.5mm on Friday and then perhaps 4mm or 5mm on Saturday, although it's unclear when that will arrive. If it arrived late morning or early afternoon I would say it will definitely go soft, but it could come after racing."

It's a card to relish as our last fixture before the festival and we are very lucky to have such quality in the entry

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