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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Conditions could dry out to soft by start of day two

Cheltenham: ground described as soft, heavy in places on all courses
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With a strong breeze blowing at Cheltenham on Wednesday morning, clerk of the course Simon Claisse has raised the possibility of day two of the festival starting on soft ground.

The official description remained soft, heavy in places on all courses - chase, hurdle and cross-country - overnight but there is a chance the going could be changed for the second day in a row.

"We've had a dry night and that hasn't really affected the going," Claisse said. "There is a strong breeze blowing this morning and it may well be that when we kick off at 1.30 we change the ground to soft all round. We'll see how things dry out over the next few hours."

The going was changed to soft, heavy in places from heavy, soft in places after five races on Tuesday and jockeys remarked on the gruelling nature of the surface.

“It’s soft and very hard work,” said Richard Johnson, while Sean Bowen called it “tacky, dead and horrible”. 

While the ground is expected to dry out on Wednesday, it could be back to square one by Thursday.

Claisse added: "We are due to have 9mm or 10mm of rain overnight but it should stop by mid-morning."

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We'll see how things dry out over the next few hours
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