Claisse happy with outlook for Festival ground

Conditions have been favourably received, says Cheltenham clerk.

  • Saturday 07 March
  • News
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Clerk of the course Simon Claisse is delighted with the way the ground has been received by racing professionals ahead of the Cheltenham Festival next week.

Thanks to a mainly dry week, Claisse was able to change the going from soft to soft, good to soft in places on both old and new courses on Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve done quite well. We’ve had a relatively dry week apart from a little bit of a shower or two on Wednesday, but I’m delighted with the way the ground is walking,” Claisse told ITV Racing.

“We must remember what we are racing on next week they’ve not set foot on, other than where the old and new courses cross, for 12 months.

“We’re really pleased with it and the professionals who have been round here the last week have said likewise.

“They can’t believe how much grass we’ve got and they can’t believe how decent the going is and I’ve changed it from soft to change it to soft, good to soft in places on both the old and new courses.

“The cross country remains soft, heavy in places and with an outlook for rain tonight, only about four or five millimetres, into Sunday I’m not expecting things to change significantly by Tuesday.

“There could be a little rain on Monday afternoon.

“Beyond Tuesday it’s looking like being a mainly dry week, so maybe on the new course, which always rides a bit quicker than the old, there is an outside chance it might flip round at best to good to soft, soft in places.”

One trainer who will be hoping for a big week in the Cotswolds is Willie Mullins, who reported all well with his big team, which is led by Al Boum Photo in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Speaking after a winner at Gowran Park, he said: “All good so far and it’s fingers, toes and everything crossed.

“The first lorries left this morning. Hopefully it’s not as rough on the seas as it is here.”

Claisse happy with outlook for Festival ground
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