Daily Express

Cheltenham suffers further rain torture

- By Chris Goulding

THE British Horseracin­g Authority are discussing plans to reschedule races from today’s abandoned meeting at Cheltenham.

Simon Claisse (below), Cheltenham’s clerk of the course, called off the Festival Trials Day fixture ahead of the planned 2pm inspection after heavy rain hit the course on Thursday night.

Claisse said:

“We walked the course with the

BHA senior inspector of courses who confirmed our view that – having had the additional 3mm of rain this morning – there were areas of the course that were waterlogge­d to such an extent that they were not raceable and there weren’t ways around them, regrettabl­y.

“It’s of course a huge disappoint­ment for us and everyone within racing. Our business is about staging horseracin­g and sadly this is the second event, after the New Year’s Day fixture, that we’ve lost within a month.”

With the Cheltenham Festival just 45 days away, trainers will be hoping the four Grade Two races – Cotswold Chase, Cleeve Hurdle, Triumph Hurdle Trial and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – can be salvaged. Persistent rain has wiped out tomorrow’s meetings at Fontwell and Uttoxeter, while Catterick’s fixture will have to pass an 8am inspection tomorrow.

Monday’s fixture at Hereford has also been called off along with Tuesday’s jumps meeting at Lingfield.

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