Cheltenham 2019: Course clerk delivers weather update all racing fans NEED to know | Racing | Sport
There was positive news from Claisse in terms of rainfall with the amount coming close to what had been expected, however it is likely to still result in slower racing at the beginning of the week.
The conditions are expected to be windy with showers through the week as punters to flock to Gloucestershire for the showpiece jump festival of the calendar.
“We had 17mm of rain overnight, which takes us up to 27mm since last Wednesday,” Claisse said.
“The track has taken it well. At the moment the going is good to soft, soft in places.
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DATES: WHEN IS LADIES DAY AND THE GOLD CUP?
“The amount we have had has been pretty much what was forecast.
“Undoubtedly with it remaining unsettled, it will be on the slower side for the start of The Festival.
“It will be a combination of what it is now, in what order I don’t know at the moment.”
The Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday 12 March and runs until Friday – with the Gold Cup coming on the final day.
Meanwhile Kim Bailey has not ruled out the possibility of sending Vinndication to the Punchestown Festival in a bid to get his career back on track.
The six-year-old saw his unbeaten record come to an end when finishing third behind leading Arkle and JLT contender Defi Du Seuil in a Grade One contest at Sandown last month.
Vinndication failed to sparkle in a racecourse gallop at Newbury last Sunday, prompting Bailey to bypass the Cheltenham Festival and look towards possible targets later in the spring.
Bailey said: “As Gordon Elliott rightly said, you can't take a horse to Cheltenham which is not 100 per cent.
“David Bass rode him yesterday morning and was perfectly happy with him, but he didn't go how I wanted him to go at Newbury on Sunday and that confirmed we would not go to Cheltenham.
“I don't think his season his over and we will look at Punchestown and other places for him to run.
“He can run over two and a half or three miles, so I am pretty sure we can find a race for him.”
The Andoversford handler warned that stablemate Imperial Aura, who made it two from two over hurdles with victory at Newcastle on his most recent start, may have run his final race of the season.
He added: “Imperial Aura is a big horse and it is all about nurturing him as it is all about going novice chasing with him. He might not run again this season, but I'm not sure yet.
“He had sore shins after he won at Carlisle and that is why it has taken time to get him back on track.”
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