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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 6 December, 2019

Cheltenham course 'good to soft' after heavy overnight rainfall six days out from Festival

The clerk of the course expects the weather to remain unsettled for the week.

The festival gets underway at Prestbury Park on Tuesday.
The festival gets underway at Prestbury Park on Tuesday.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CLERK OF THE course Simon Claisse anticipates the Cheltenham Festival beginning on a combination of good to soft and soft ground after overnight rain forced the going to ease on Wednesday morning.

The official going description on all three courses was changed to good to soft, soft in places (from good, good to soft in places) after 17mm of rain at the track.

The same quantity of rain is forecast for the lead-up to the meeting in what Claisse describes as an “unsettled forecast” with the prospect of plenty of rain. Claisse said this morning morning: “We’ve had 17mm of rainfall overnight and 27mm in total since last Wednesday. We’re now good to soft with a bit of soft out there.

“It’s sunny here now but we might get a few more showers today. We expected around 17mm of rain last night so it came as no surprise and the forecast over the recent period of time has been pretty much spot on. The outlook remains unsettled with plenty more rain to come.”

He continued: “The forecast suggests we could get another 17mm in the lead-up to Tuesday and, if it’s correct, we should be looking at a combination of good to soft and soft ground on day one, but in what balance I wouldn’t speculate at this stage.

“It remains unsettled for the four days itself, but don’t forget we’re still six days away from the meeting starting.”

- Brian Fleming

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