Tag Archives: claisse

Cheltenham Festival 2013: Day one inspection at 10.30am due winter weather

Concern on day one at Cheltenham with early morning inspection set after parts of the course are left frozen by winter weather

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

07:04 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:15 GMT, 12 March 2013

Cheltenham will hold an inspection at 10.30am today ahead of what is predicted to be the coldest-ever start to the Festival.

Although the covers were put down at the track over the weekend, officials report the track to be frozen in a few places this morning after a wind chill of -12C overnight.

Over 55,000 spectators are expected to
attend the first day of the meeting when nine horses, including three
previous winners – Binocular, Hurricane Fly and reigning champion Rock
On Ruby – will line up in the Champion Hurdle.

Bleak: Cheltenham will host an inspection after temperatures plummeted to -12C overnight

Bleak: Cheltenham will host an inspection after temperatures plummeted to -12C overnight

Essential Cheltenham reading

Your guide to the best bets on the opening day

Sam Turner's top tips

Everything you need to know in one place

Cheltenham Festival preview video

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: 'We are frozen in places but it seems to be small areas. We can't really tell the extent of the frozen areas until we start to take the covers up.

'If the weather does what we expect it to and the temperature gets up to 3C by 12 noon, we should be kicking off as planned at 1.30pm.

'The wind chill dropped to -12C overnight and it was still -9C at 5am today.

'The is sun is out now and if we get an hour or two of sunshine on it, it should start to move.

'If we get some cloud cover, the rate at which that will happen will obviously slow.'

Frozen: As many as 55,000 spectators are expected to arrive for the opening day of the Festival

Frozen: As many as 55,000 spectators are expected to arrive for the opening day of the Festival

Claisse says he remains 'optimistic' about the meeting going ahead as planned.

He told Channel 4's The Morning Line: '90 per cent of the course is fine but obviously we can't clear it as fit to race until it's 100 per cent OK.

'(The problem areas) tend to be on some of the take-offs and landings and some of the wider ground. We have got fresh ground seven or eight yards on the inside, but you just have to be a bit careful of a horse that's going wide.

'It's on those areas that were worn a little bit in October, November and December, that's where the frost has got in under the covers.

'We will look at everything we can possibly do to ensure the meeting goes ahead. If we have to, we will go round any fences or hurdles.

Covered up: Cheltenham remain confident that racing will go ahead on the first day of the Festival

Covered up: Cheltenham remain confident that racing will go ahead on the first day of the Festival

'We are not running on the cross
country course until 4pm this afternoon and the afternoon temperature is
4C or 5C, so it may take a little bit longer to get fit when the sun
comes out, but should be OK by 4.

'I remain optimistic but you just
never quite know what is happening with this weather. Our experiences
last night were beyond anything we've seen before.'

The process of lifting the covers is
expected to be completed by 1.15pm with the traditional curtain raiser,
the William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle, due off 15 minutes later.

Cheltenham"s New Year"s Day fixture abandoned

Balding's parade is rained on as Cheltenham's New Year's Day fixture is abandoned

|

UPDATED:

13:29 GMT, 31 December 2012

Host: Balding is part of Channel 4 racing's new-look team

Host: Balding is part of Channel 4 racing's new-look team

Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day fixture at Prestbury Park has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Clare Balding had been due to make her Channel 4 Racing debut from Cheltenham but the abandonment means the former BBC presenter will be broadcasting from a stable in Berkshire.

The only live action will be from Musselburgh and Channel 4 will send Balding and Mick Fitzgerald to visit trainer Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows, Lambourn, home of Gold Cup contenders Bobs Worth and Long Run.

Channel 4 Racing executive producer Carl Hicks said: 'We have arranged for Clare and Mick to visit Seven Barrows.

'Nicky Henderson has so many high-profile horses to run before the Festival, there is plenty to see and talk about.'

Not at the races: Cheltenham's New Year's Day meeting was called off on Monday morning

Not at the races: Cheltenham's New Year's Day meeting was called off on Monday morning

Wet: Further rain is forecast at the racetrack

Wet: Further rain is forecast at the racetrack

Course officials originally scheduled an inspection for 3pm on Monday but the meeting was abandoned long before that.

Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse told At The Races: 'Sadly we've had to take the decision earlier than we thought to abandon the meeting.

'We've had more rainfall and there's quite a lot more rain forecast between now and 2pm. The course is waterlogged in too many places.'