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New Year forecast for Cheltenham rather chilly

Officials at Cheltenham will anxiously monitor temperatures over the next couple of days in the hope of staging the big New Year's Day meeting.

Like most courses around the country, the Prestbury Park venue is covered in snow and firmly in the unwelcome grip of the big freeze.

Communications manager Andy Clifton is trying to remain optimistic that racing will resume.

“We are currently covered in something like six inches inches of snow, and we are due to get no higher than minus 5C today,” he said. “The next three or four days will determine what happens at the weekend.

“The forecast is not as encouraging as it was a few days ago, but we still have chances.

“It's probably too soon to say what our exact chance is — in the next two or three days we will be in a much better position to start making predictions.

“The forecast has to be accurate, or better than accurate, for us to have a chance.

“In the next 36 hours we need temperatures to be up and for the snow to melt.

“If it doesn't get as high as they forecast then we are struggling.”

Belfast Telegraph

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