18mm of rain can’t save X-country

Friday's Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase has been abandoned due to unsuitably firm going despite heavy rain reaching Cheltenham overnight.

Cross-country course is too quick at Cheltenham despite 18mm of rain

Plans had already been made to stage a substitute race and that will now take place, but in a different slot on the card because of the risk of low sun.

Instead of being run as the fourth race, the Glenfarclas Veterans' Handicap Chase will now open proceedings at 12.55pm and the Neptune Investment Management Hyde Novices' Hurdle will move down the order.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: "We had more rain than anticipated [on Tuesday night], 18mm since 7pm.

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"The chase and hurdles tracks are now good, good to soft in places.

"However, as anticipated, it has hardly had an effect on the Cross Country track which is still firm, hard in places.

"We have the other race ready to take its place but because of the risk of low sun that will now be run as the first race.

"That means the Neptune Novices' Hurdle will be run as the fourth, at 2.40pm.

"We will work with the BHA to rearrange the Cross Country race to one of our January meetings, and most likely it will be Festival Trials Day on January 28."

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