Saturday 24 February 2018

Cheltenham passes morning inspection after overnight wind chill of -12C

Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

This afternoon's opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is set to go ahead as planned, although the start will be delayed by 35 minutes.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse was forced to call a 10.30am inspection as parts of the course were frozen following a -12C wind chill overnight.

The track passed that inspection, although the first race was put back from 1.30pm to 2.05pm.

Claisse said: "We're going ahead, but we're delaying the first race until 2.05pm.

"We're going to have a further inspection of the cross-country course at around 2.15pm, with a view to running the race at 5.45pm."

The William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle will still open the card at the revised time with the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy now going at 2.40.

The JLT Specialty Chase now starts at 3.20, while the feature Stan James Champion Hurdle now has a post time of 4pm.

Quevega will bid for a fifth successive victory in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at 4.40, as originally planned, with the Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase due off at 5.15 as scheduled.

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