Sun. Mar 24th, 2019

Second day of Cheltenham Festival faces inspection because of high winds

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Racegoers battled the wind and heavy rain on the Festival’s opening day on Tuesday

The second day of the Cheltenham Festival could be affected by strong winds with officials warning of an inspection on Wednesday morning.

Gusts of up to 50mph are expected, which could prove dangerous because of the track’s temporary stands.

“We wanted to give you an early insight into conditions for tomorrow as the forecast is looking challenging,” said clerk of the course Simon Claisse.

“We are monitoring the situation and will keep racegoers informed.”

In 2008, Wednesday racing was called off because of high winds, with races rescheduled to bumper cards on the Thursday and Friday.

However, it is likely any reorganisation this year would involve extending the festival into Saturday and not staging more races on Thursday and Friday, because of horse welfare concerns.

The weather forecast has also affected the plans of trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins, who have stabled some of their runners for later in the week at Aintree because of fears ferry travel could be disrupted by the strong winds.

Mullins, speaking on ITV, said: “We’ve had to travel them all over the last two days with some staying at Aintree.

“Because of the new travelling protocols we had to have the horses swabbed 72 hours before the festival (following the recent equine flu outbreak) and therefore only had 24 hours to travel.”

Wednesday’s scheduled racecard

13:30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race 2m 5f

14:10 – RSA Insurance Novices’ Steeple Chase 3m 80y

14:50 – Coral Cup Hurdle (handicap hurdle) 2m 5f

15:30 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase 1m 7f 99y

16:10 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y

16:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race 2m 87y

17:30 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper 2m 87y

Cheltenham Festival 2019: Wednesday’s racing faces inspection

The second day of the Cheltenham Festival could be affected by strong winds with officials warning of an inspection on Wednesday morning. Gusts of up to 50mph are expected, which could prove dangerous because of the track’s temporary stands.

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