Cheltenham Clerk Of The Course Expects Ground To Dry Out Before Festival

Cheltenham Going

Cheltenham's well known clerk of the course, Simon Claisse, has stated that although the track has suffered heavy rainfall during one of the wettest winters for some time, that the track should be drier come the week of the meeting.

Since the middle of September the Gloucestershire track has taken on 75% more rain than normal with the going being either soft or heavy since the tracks meeting in October.

(Credit Racing Post) Claisse explained: "The outlook for the week is less unsettled than we were expecting.

"We're not saying there will be no rain but it wouldn't surprise me if we had good to soft in the ground description towards the end of the coming week based on the current forecast. That would be the first time since back in October."

The weather forecast has predicted for less rain then we have seen of late and that is supposed to occur from now until the festivals opening race on Tuesday 10th March.

Claisse added:"The reliability of forecasts diminishes the longer ahead we are looking but the indications at the moment are that it could continue to be less unsettled so there could be a slow improvement on what we are currently calling the ground."

The track is currently on the slow side according to the clerk who said:"We've had 13mm or 14mm of rain since Wednesday and we remain soft on the Old and New courses, soft, heavy in places on the cross-country course."

"Cheltenham will largely miss the rain next week and into the festival there is a strong signal for more settled weather through the middle of the month.

"There is a chance of some light showers on Monday but Tuesday and Wednesday should be dry before a bigger risk of light showers on Thursday and Friday."

He added: "It looks like it will be south of the M4 which will get most of the rain in the bands coming through this week. Cheltenham will get nothing substantial and there will be windy spells and chances of some light frosts but by day the temperatures will be picking up from a chilly 8-9C on Monday."

Certain bookmakers have been offering a market on what the official going will be come 13:30 on the day of racing and they believe there will not be much change in the current going with soft as favourite at a best-priced 4/6 with good to soft available at 13-8, heavy 7-1 and good 50-1.