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Cheltenham countdown: Festival expected to be 'milder side'

Wed 28 Feb 2018

The country is gripped by a big freeze but Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse expects much milder weather during Festival week.

Prospects of racing anywhere on turf for the rest of this week look slim, but Claisse is in an optimistic frame of mind.

"We've had a relatively dry fortnight," he said. "We've not had significant rain since Festival Trials Day when it was heavy ground, but the track went back well after that.

"We were forewarned 10 days ago to expect a period of snow on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That in terms of rainfall equivalent could be anywhere between 10 to 15 millimetres of rain, which would put the course back to soft with a week to go.

"Beyond the weekend, we look like we are out of the frosts and daytime temperatures are anywhere between 5 and 8C.

"Depending on the extent of which that snow might blow around and drift we would anticipate seeing the back of it by the middle of next week.

"There are a few bits of rain in the forecast from Wednesday onwards. Although it is a longer-range forecast, Festival week is looking on the milder side with bits and pieces of rain."

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