Cheltenham gets the go-ahead as forecast winds ease

Day two of the Festival gets the green light following morning check

  • Wednesday 13 March
  • News
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Day two of the Cheltenham Festival will go ahead as planned after the track passed a precautionary inspection.

Officials had planned an 8am check and announced a contingency to postpone Wednesday’s card until Saturday, as a forecast for high winds threatened the card.

However, course officials were able to give the go ahead at around 6.10am as conditions are not expected to be as bad as first feared.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: “We’re delighted the weather conditions have changed from the initial forecasts and the prospects of higher wind speeds and gusts have receded.

“We’re looking forward to a fantastic day’s racing on the Old Course with the feature race the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.”

Wednesday’s weather worries came 11 years after similar conditions caused the cancellation of racing on the second day of the meeting.

The Champion Chase and other high-profile races were instead run later in the week, added to the Thursday and Friday cards.

While racing goes ahead as planned, Gold Cup-winning rider Andrew Thornton believes front-runners could be in for a tough afternoon.

He said: “As long as the officials can keep the wings up, the jockeys will race. From a riders’ point of view, horses that make the running today will obviously be first in the head wind and will get buffeted about.

“It might be advantageous to sit in the middle of the track and get some cover which will enable them, like cyclists, to slipstream, stay out of the wind and conserve some energy.”

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