Tuesday 19 September 2017

Severe frost forecast remains a worry

Marcus Armytage

Racing at Cheltenham today looks to be in the balance again after officials called for a precautionary inspection of the course for 8.0am after overnight temperatures of -5C.

The 65 acres of frost covers, which ensured six of yesterday's seven races could take place, were deployed again last night and the four-hour process of laying them began the moment the runners for the last race pulled up.

"Minus five is right on the limit of what the covers can protect against," said clerk of the course Simon Claisse, who joked that he was already "shot to bits".

Racing yesterday was delayed by 35 minutes after some frost had permeated the ground in exposed places under the covers, and the Glenfarclas Cross-Country, a race run across such an area of land in the centre of the course that it is impossible to cover it all, was postponed until tomorrow .

The overnight temperature on Monday night, -3.5C, was not as low as that forecast for last night, but the wind chill reduced it to -12C.

Paul Carberry and his sister Nina were among the deputation of stewards, course inspectors and jockeys who looked at the cross-country course at 1.45 and deemed it unfit. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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