Cheltenham covered up ahead of trials

Cheltenham groundstaff have deployed frost covers on the main track ahead of Festival Trials Day on Saturday.

The covers are going down at Cheltenham

A cold spell is anticipated at the home of National Hunt racing, but clerk of the course Simon Claisse does not foresee any potential stumbling blocks.

He said: "We are forecast a very cold night, and a very cold day (on Thursday).

"The signs are that milder air will move in by Friday, but there is some risk that the colder air predominates.

"As a precaution, we are covering the track so that we will remain raceable until Saturday.

"Without the covers, we would have gone through a spell of being unraceable.

"Even if the forecast is wrong by 24 hours, we are not expecting any issues and wouldn't be looking at any precautionary inspections."

Eight of the nine races on Saturday's card, which now includes the rescheduled Clarence House Chase, will be competed on the covered-up New Course.

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap is staged on Cheltenham's cross-country circuit, on which only "vulnerable parts" have been protected by frost covers.

Claisse added: "The race is at 2.50pm, and not first thing in the afternoon, so we wouldn't envisage still having frozen ground at that time of the afternoon."

Read More at Sporting Life

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