Saturday’s high-profile meeting at Cheltenham is subject to a further precautionary inspection at 7.30am, with contingency plans to restage the fixture on Sunday no longer in place.
The track is due to stage a bumper nine-race card, with annual highlights of the Cotswold Chase and Cleeve Hurdle this year supplemented by the Grade One Clarence House Chase, which has been switched from Ascot’s cancelled card last week.
Below is an update regarding Festival Trials Day 🔽 pic.twitter.com/WVgkCIb02s— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) January 27, 2023
But with parts of the track still frozen on Thursday afternoon, officials announced an initial inspection for noon on Friday, while discussions took place with the British Horseracing Authority about the possibility of restaging racing on Sunday.
However, following “significant improvements” overnight, that potential plan has been scrapped and clerk of the course Jon Pullin will instead check on conditions again on raceday morning before making a final call on whether the meeting can go ahead.
Pullin said: “Temperatures remained positive overnight, and the ground has continued to thaw with the racing line now free from frost.
“The going is currently soft, good to soft in places on the New Course and good to soft, soft in places on the cross country course.
“Frost covers will be deployed today on the New Course in order to protect the ground from tonight’s forecast, where temperatures could drop to minus 2C, therefore there will be a further precautionary inspection at 7.30am.
“Due to significant improvements on course, the contingency plans to restage the raceday on Sunday are no longer in place.”LAST CHANCE! Enjoy a free one month trial of Racing TV – the only channel showing every race live from the Cheltenham Festival! Watch every race live from all the meetings that matter across Britain and Ireland including the Dublin Racing Festival. Click above to start yours now.
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