Frost covers down for Cheltenham Saturday card
Frost covers were laid down at Cheltenham on Wednesday
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Frost covers deployed for Festival Trials card
By Lee Mottershead 12:27PM 25 JAN 2017
CHELTENHAM clerk of the course Simon Claisse does not believe any sort of inspection will need to be passed before racing on Saturday after covers were on Wednesday laid down in order to ensure the bumper Festival Trials card beats the weather.
Thistlecrack, Un De Sceaux and Unowhatimeanharry are among the stars due to appear at a track where temperatures are set to drop to -4C on Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
"We are covering the whole track and the vulnerable areas on the cross-country course," said Claisse.
"All the signs are that milder weather is due with us by Friday. However, there still remains some risk that the colder air could sit around for a little longer.
Not taking any risks
"We don't want any risk around this meeting, and I don't even envisage having to announce a precautionary inspection, but without the protection we've put down the meeting could have been at serious risk.
"We wouldn't run the risk of removing the covers on Friday night only to wish we hadn't the following morning, so they will come up on Saturday morning."
The chase and hurdles tracks were described as good to soft on Wednesday but forecast rain could well ease conditions.
Claisse added: "We're looking at 3mm to 5mm overnight Friday into Saturday, but that would be on ground that has been frozen quite a lot over the last ten days, so it wouldn't take much rain to make the ground soft. The covers are completely breathable and porous so that rain would go straight through them."