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Cheltenham: Simon says the Old Course is looking good

Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse is happy with the condition of the track as the countdown to the Festival nears its conclusion.

The taps were turned on at Prestbury Park last week after a dry spell in Gloucestershire.

With the Old Course used for the first two days of the Festival, the ground will ride as nature intended from now on.

However, rain is forecast for Thursday and Friday so as it stands, Claisse will not be watering the New Course either.

“We watered on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and got the courses to good to soft, good in places, which is where they are currently sitting,” he explained.

“The forecast for rainfall seems to have got stronger in terms of the quantity of rainfall we might expect on Thursday and Friday so we are not going to be doing any more watering in advance of the meeting.

“We can, if we need to, do something overnight, we'll take it day by day.

“It just depends on what conditions have been like and how much things have dried out.

“If we had a dry Festival week, the ground on the New Course would probably be quicker than we would all like.

“We did water overnight the year Kicking King won the Gold Cup putting on about five or six millimetres, it takes about four or five hours,” he added.

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