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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Heavy rain over the weekend turns Cheltenham going soft

Cheltenham racecourse: recorded 22mm of rainfall over the weekend
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Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse expects Saturday's Festival Trials Day card to take place on soft ground after 22mm of rain over the weekend has resulted in an ease of conditions.

Other than Wednesday – when as much as 9mm is forecast – Claisse expects a relatively dry week, with mild conditions aiding the course in drying out.

"We had about 22mm of rain over the weekend, which turned our good to soft ground soft, but there's no standing water," Claisse said on Monday.

"It's meant to stay dry now until Wednesday – when we get another 7-9mm – and the rest of the week is pretty much dry. We might get a shower on Saturday so I'd envisage it being soft come Saturday."

He added: "It can dry quickly, especially with the milder air. We're providing fresh ground on the chase course and pushed the hurdles out a bit wider than they were on New Year's Day."

Cheltenham: stage their popular trials day meeting on Saturday

Tuesday represents seven weeks until the 2018 Cheltenham Festival and Claisse added: "We've got a very good covering of grass and we've not experienced any cold easterly winds which can hinder growth.

"The grass has been growing for the last week or two and we came out of New Year's Day in relatively good shape, given we were on heavy then."

Saturday due to be a nice day for Doncaster

The forecast holds no fears for Doncaster either as they prepare for their Sky Bet Handicap Chase card that also features three Grade 2s, and clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said: "We are soft, good to soft in places and there is the potential for heavy showers on Wednesday but we don't have a lot of concerns."

He added: "The temperatures are going to be up until Thursday night and we're not expecting any significant frosts. Saturday looks to be a very nice day."

Definitly Red: due to be in action at Doncaster on Saturday

Wetherby's Tuesday meeting must pass an 8am inspection with the going heavy, soft in places, with a couple of isolated areas of standing water in the back straight on the chase course.

Meanwhile, Warwick have not yet called an inspection for Thursday's meeting despite some areas of standing water and ground described as heavy with further rain forecast.

Cheltenham Saturday card

Doncaster Saturday card





We might get a shower on Saturday so I'd currently envision it being soft come Saturday
E.W. Terms
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