Cheltenham faces the unusual position of starting a festival on soft ground following a winter of very high rainfall. February was the wettest and warmest on record, with an above average volume of fixtures cancelled due to waterlogging.

That wet weather shows little sign of relenting, a trend that may impact upon the next leg of the Crystal Cup tomorrow. Following 6mm of rainfall overnight, which is a significant change from the 2mm-4mm initially forecast, and with a further 4mm-6mm forecast today (Tuesday 12th March), there will now be an inspection on the Cross-Country course at 8am tomorrow (Wednesday 13th March). The Cross-Country course is currently waterlogged in places.

In the unfortunate event that the Cross-Country course fails tomorrow’s inspection, Cheltenham is working alongside the BHA on a contingency plan for the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase to be run on Friday 15th March, Gold Cup Day.

The Old and New Course have taken the rain well and the Going is now Soft, Heavy in Places.