Cheltenham Festival

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Can't Catch Me
22 Feb 16 12:41
Date Joined: 02 Apr 03
| Topic/replies: 28,246 | Blogger: Can't Catch Me's blog
Well, it feels like its that time of year again Blush You know its getting close when you see this thread! And just for Roger... only 21 more sleeps Grin

With only 3 weeks to go, and in the balmy North West where it was 15 degrees yesterday, the long range forecast is looking pretty dry for the Cheltenham area.
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Report GAZO February 29, 2016 9:26 AM GMT
it was probally good ground on the first three days last year
Report Fashion Fever February 29, 2016 10:23 AM GMT
you cant compare summer jumping to the cheltenham festival, i should imagine huge differential in speeds
Report buddeliea February 29, 2016 12:17 PM GMT
I think the point about it being dangerous for Cheltenham, but apparently not for those that run during the summer is fair.
If its dangerous then its dangerous for all horses, irrespective of quality.
Its all about Cheltenham being high profile and not wanting any bad publicity,the summer jumping goes pretty much unnoticed I suspect.
Report ACStafford February 29, 2016 12:21 PM GMT
It's far less dangerous when races are being ran at a crawl in small field events. Cheltenham is unique in its competitiveness and profile and therefore needs to be treated differently. There's nothing wrong with having good to soft ground and it seems a sensible to aim for that.
Report buddeliea February 29, 2016 12:25 PM GMT
Absolutely agree with aiming for good/soft,its the fairest going for the majority of horses I would think,and it helps re safety issue.
Personally think Claisse does a fine job amidst a fair amount of pressure every year.
Report Eeternaloptimist February 29, 2016 1:09 PM GMT
We all talk through our pockets when we back horses which want extremes of going I don't think you can criticise Claisse for watering to alter the going and not also address the way that artificial drainage also affects the going. On balance I think Claisse gets it right far more often than wrong.
Report The Dragon February 29, 2016 8:17 PM GMT
good will be fine for all concerned i reckon
Report festivalfanatic March 1, 2016 1:11 PM GMT
It rained on and off from about 11.00PM last night till 11.0AM this morning. No idea how much fell but it is mild, windy and sunny again now.
Report roobuck March 1, 2016 2:13 PM GMT
Better to have natural going rather than using the watering can. If can have g/s that way, that'd be ideal
Report tommycockles March 2, 2016 11:13 AM GMT
Claisse interview from yesterday
Report festivalfanatic March 4, 2016 9:14 AM GMT
Bit of rain overnight. Lot more due overnight tonight but if the forecast is correct, then that's about it. I've seen one forecast that shows temperatures in the low teens from next weekend. If this proves correct, then you can put a line through anything that requires proper soft ground.
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 March 8, 2016 8:09 PM GMT
Plenty of rain about this week making me think we're in for a soft ground Tues into weds for sure as of the amount of rain that's forecast falls, there is no way it dries up that much before the supreme.

Can see a description of heavy soft in places Saturday, with soft all round Tues morning
Report roobuck March 8, 2016 8:14 PM GMT
Can see it soft or worse after tomorrow's rain. But clear and warm after that and known drainage and drying can still see it g/s on Tuesday
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 March 8, 2016 8:19 PM GMT
You could be right roobuck but how much of it will be dead and holding cos let's face it it don't dry out properly this time of year. Only so much water flows.out the drainage the rest soaks up into the deep earth
Report delsie777 March 8, 2016 8:22 PM GMT
1/3 Good to soft
Report roobuck March 8, 2016 8:23 PM GMT
If it's warm as predicted will make a difference. If it's just dry and I accept your point
Report jasey March 8, 2016 8:23 PM GMT
Week of dry weather after tomorrow,G/S or G/S S in places.
Report roobuck March 8, 2016 8:24 PM GMT
Whatever be great if the watering can doesn't come out - let nature take its course
Report nocturnal March 8, 2016 9:39 PM GMT
In an age where technology appears to run the life of many,its left to racing to redress the balance,with nothing more than the humble stick.

Hopes and dreams of the mass,are confirmed or dashed,with its insertion into hallowed turf,tactics and tecnique ,closely guarded by the chosen few.

Cheltenhams clerk of the course known to colleagues as SIMPLE....has worked closely with local greenkeepers,to come up with a revolutionary device set to take racing by storm......THE IMP METER

Working off a level 12 STONE,a nominated jockey will be cannoned,ala Billy Smart style,into said turf,with appropriate device for depth measurement, attached to helmet.

Expendable conditionals/amateurs have already tested,however armchair punters later on in the week can nominate their jockey of choice,welcome to racing 2016.

The dawn of a new era.
Report Mr Eboue March 8, 2016 10:32 PM GMT
Very heavy rain forecast early tomorrow.
Report ReaseHeath March 8, 2016 10:47 PM GMT
Cheltenham last raced on trials day on the New Course where the going was described as Heavy and the stick reading recorded was 6.4.The latest stick reading for the New Course as of last Wednesday is 6.1 when the going was described as Good to Soft.

The higher the reading the better the ground.

Best look at the times I think.
Report DECALEC March 8, 2016 11:18 PM GMT
Just ask VP what the going is after the 1st fence in the  foxhunters,for her sake I hope its softLaugh
Report festivalfanatic March 9, 2016 9:22 AM GMT
Simon Claisse on local radio this morning said that he expected the course to be soft all over after today's rain has pushed through. If the forecast is right though that is basically it till next Tuesday. He expects the ground for the start of the meeting to be between soft and sh!t Sherlock.Shocked
Report rogerthebutler March 9, 2016 10:01 AM GMT
Naturally so though this year, without a hosepipe in sight.
Report Mr Eboue March 9, 2016 1:53 PM GMT
Horrible out there lads.

Freezing cold and pi55ing with rain.

Really bad flooding in Evesham. Its stopped now here in Cheltenham.
Report ronnie rails March 9, 2016 2:43 PM GMT
mr e   how come your town is full of good indian restaraunts

but only I decent chineese restaurant the mayflower


Report Can't Catch Me March 9, 2016 2:58 PM GMT
Great question that ronnie. We say the same every year! Although think you are being a bit generous to the Mayflower, we had a shocking meal there the year before last.
Report Mr Eboue March 9, 2016 3:16 PM GMT
Bar and Wok is a very good Chinese lads. It's not in the nicest part of town (Lower High street) but the food is outstanding.
Report Mr Eboue March 9, 2016 3:17 PM GMT
Report ronnie rails March 9, 2016 3:27 PM GMT
mr e had many a good meal in the ruby now bhoom indian

and the chineese beside soho bar golen kite but that was many 

moons ago now vhoogen  indian

I  can tell you where I will not be eating 131

but will have a couple of drinks next door craze eights

ps I will try that new pub on the high street

Report Mr Eboue March 9, 2016 3:31 PM GMT
The daffodil shut down recently - had many a good meal there. I did hear some new people have bought it so I imagine it'll be opening again soon.

If you are after a good boozer that does decent food - make sure to visit the sanford ale house. Just won pub of the year. A really impressive joint.

Any fancies for next week Ronnie?
Report ronnie rails March 9, 2016 3:42 PM GMT
mr e dont bet a lot these days

just when I go I do sixteen days at York

four days at ascot punting

and fourteen days Cheltenham laying

my fancy for the week

the very  good looking barmaid in Montpellier wine bar


Report Mr Eboue March 9, 2016 3:44 PM GMT

There's a couple of absolute stunners who work in the Hewlett if you're keen mate!
Report Can't Catch Me March 9, 2016 3:45 PM GMT
Mr E... where would you recommend to watch the Man Utd v Liverpool game on the Thursday night? Looking for a nice boozer wiht a bit of atmosphere but not a Weatherspoons type with hundreds of local Utd fans driving me potty!
Report Mr Eboue March 9, 2016 3:51 PM GMT
The Brown Jug on Bath road is a nice pub mate. They've got SKY and BT. Whenever I'm out and want to stay away from the prats in spoons I go there.
Report Can't Catch Me March 9, 2016 3:55 PM GMT
Great stuff, thanks mate
Report GAZO March 9, 2016 7:07 PM GMT
so how bad was the rain today and has it stopped yet ?
Report Pg25 March 9, 2016 7:20 PM GMT
24mm according to claisse.. 32.5mm was expected so could have been worse the forecast for the next week is very good 0.1mm of rain expected so hopefully we'll have good to soft ground
Report loper March 9, 2016 7:21 PM GMT
We'll be watching it in the Kemble, CCM.Wink
Report charwell. March 9, 2016 9:31 PM GMT
Yeah, we need a pub for the game too!

Mayflower is nice but pricey for what it is. We are trying Bar & Wok for first time this year.

There is a fantastic French restaurant we are booked into as well and a top Indian - top of the trip advisers in there genre but names escape me for the moment!

Food, beer AND racing festival Cool
Report Can't Catch Me March 9, 2016 10:22 PM GMT
Must be Prithvi charwell? Top of our list every year and as good an Indian as you could find imo. So good we went twice last year! There is another one that some say is better now, but went during the Paddy Power meet and didn't think it was as good as Prithvi. Can't remember the name.
Report Can't Catch Me March 9, 2016 10:24 PM GMT
Is the French one Le Champignon Sauvage? Bit poncey for me and prefer Lumiere for a restaurant of that ilk.
Report charwell. March 9, 2016 10:26 PM GMT
East India it is. And L'Artisan is the French one.
Report Can't Catch Me March 9, 2016 10:28 PM GMT
That's the one. Yes very nice. But would highly recommend Prithvi next time!
Report ronnie rails March 9, 2016 10:32 PM GMT
ccc lartisian very nice

best indian food by a mile not for the poncy is shezan


Report charwell. March 9, 2016 10:33 PM GMT
Try L'Artisan mate; the beef rib last year was out of this world. Not too pricey either for what it is.

Will look at Prithvi next year. Normally book 3 restaurants and on the Thursday night just have a takeaway and a quiet night to recover! Laugh
Report charwell. March 9, 2016 10:38 PM GMT
That Danhpnes was very average last year, it's ranked 9th. Monty's used to be excellent and was a regular but last couple of times it's been style over substance.

Just seen Prithvi is about twice the price of East India Cafe. Maybe save it for next year if Don Poli wins Grin
Report Ramruma March 10, 2016 11:22 AM GMT
The BBC weather tipsterers say 9 degrees C, which doesn't sound ideal. One of those annoying temperatures where if you wrap up warm, you overheat, and if you don't then you freeze.
Report Can't Catch Me March 10, 2016 12:55 PM GMT
Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse expects the ground to dry out slightly ahead of the start of the four-day Festival on Tuesday.

The going was described as soft on Thursday morning after rain on Wednesday, but the forecast for the next week is a dry one, with temperatures set to get into double figures by the weekend.

The horses will be racing on fresh ground and Claisse believes the going will be a blend of good to soft and soft by Tuesday.

"We had about half the amount of rainfall they experienced at Stratford on Wednesday," he told At The Races.

"We've come through that deluge in pretty good shape. We would have raced (on Wednesday) with a few fences being taken out.

"The ground has taken it well. Having got to good to soft, good in places, we are now back to soft.

"I can't find a forecast here at the moment that has got any rain in it at all between now and Friday week.

"They say on Gold Cup day we might get a couple of millimetres, but it's predominantly dry with the temperatures beginning to get up into double figures.

"The temperatures are creeping up, but they are only getting up slowly. We might get into double figures at the weekend.

"My hunch would be we'll commence the meeting on a mixture of good to soft and soft, but quite which one is the predominate going, I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at this stage. "
Report Ramruma March 10, 2016 1:00 PM GMT
"My hunch would be we'll commence the meeting on a mixture of good to soft and soft, but quite which one is the predominate going, I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at this stage. "

Draw advantage at the Festival. Cunning plan number 247 -- back any jockeys who bother to walk the course.
Report rogerthebutler March 10, 2016 1:07 PM GMT
So basically, if that all pans out, it should be pretty much the perfect festival - fair, unwatered ground throughout and lovely weather for us racegoers.

Bring it!
Report festivalfanatic March 11, 2016 10:48 AM GMT
Bright and sunny in Cheltenham today though not particularly warm. Weather is set fair by the look of it. My guess is that 'good to soft' will appear in the going description on Sunday.
Report shockster March 11, 2016 11:43 AM GMT
No change in the going at Cheltenham, where the going is soft. "There is no change going wise," said Simon Claisse. "It continued to be dry over the last 24 hours but we remain soft all round. The outlook remains dry and getting warmer.
Report GAZO March 11, 2016 5:42 PM GMT
from looking at the going stick on turftrax its a good job we are not expecting anymore rain,its looks borderline heavy
Report geoff m March 11, 2016 5:49 PM GMT
Going stick currently 5.4 Soft yet it was 6.4 on the morning of  Jan trials day heavy and inspection due to waterlogging.
Report geoff m March 11, 2016 5:51 PM GMT
Certainly far nearer heavy than good to soft.
Soft worth a speculative punt @ 5s?
Report Eeternaloptimist March 11, 2016 7:18 PM GMT
Have the penetrometer readings been altered?

I thought anything in the range of 5-7 was classed as varying shades of good to soft? I think it was 6.9 for the beginning of the festival last year and jockeys suggested it rode on the dead side of good initially.
Report wellchief March 11, 2016 7:27 PM GMT
Quick search of the BHA site for between 2008 and 2013

Ground description and average going stick reading:






Report Cash Is King March 12, 2016 12:38 PM GMT
As always, we won't have any clear sense of the going until we see the time of the first race and get feedback from the jockeys irrespective of whatever the smug, self important Simon Claisse has to say on the matter beforehand. No Clerk of the Course ever changes the official going description with the frequency that Simple Simon has to once racing gets underway.

As previous posters have already pointed out, if the going stick reading on Festival Trials Day was 6.4 and the going was officially "Heavy", how can a going stick reading in the range of 5.4 - 5.7 be only "Soft"?
Report geoff m March 12, 2016 1:38 PM GMT
The last time Cheltenham raced any raceday with a reading lower than current 5.4 was 3 years ago on trials day going Heavy and racing went  ahead after an inspection.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 12, 2016 1:40 PM GMT

The Going Stick uses a measurement scale ranging from 1 to 15: the lower the number, the softer or slower the ground; the higher the number, the firmer or faster the ground.

I knew I'd seen something giving various readings. I remember making a note of it equating to what I'd said in my previous post. For once the issue doesn't appear to have been with Claisse for that meeting. There's no way that a reading of 6.4 can equate to heavy ground and yet the times suggested it was very testing. Some further enquiry into the efficacy of the penetrometer may be in order.
Report ReaseHeath March 12, 2016 1:53 PM GMT
I suspect the issue around the reading on trials day may be partly (not fully) explained by the time lag between when the reading was taken and race time.

Process full of holes - readings taken at seemingly random times (appreciate there can be issues in taking readings if course covered etc.) - historical data does n't appear to always record when the reading was taken vs race time e.g. there has been a going change at Sandown this morning but the stick readings referenced are still those from yesterday morning at 11.45am. Hopeless really!
Report tommycockles March 12, 2016 9:32 PM GMT
Cheltenham's ground remains 'Soft' just three days ahead of the start of the 2016 Festival on Tuesday.

Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham and Director of Racing at Jockey Club Racecourse South West, reported on Saturday afternoon that the going remains Soft but the ground continues to dry.

He said: "We have had three dry days. We are 'Soft' on all courses.

"The ground is slowly drying out and I would anticipate some Good to Soft in places in the going descriptions from tomorrow.

"The forecast remains for dry weather, with temperatures around 8-9C. There could be some light showers towards the end of the next week, and maybe a millimetre or two of rain on Friday, but nothing significant.

"We are very happy with the way the tracks look - there is so much fresh ground out there with 90 per cent not raced on since last year."
Report dyno-layer March 13, 2016 8:00 AM GMT
Cheltenham ground called the Trampoline effect.

Apparently with the water table at record high levels, what happens is that if there is a dry spell leading up to the festival, ( which is what is about to happen ), the top 3-4 inches of ground dry up causing false good fast ground.
The real condition of the ground is dry crusty on top but very moist underneath. This is called the " trampoline " effect and it actually will not inconvenience many horses at all.

You get fast race times because the horses are in effect bouncing of the surface.
The trouble starts if there is any rain during the festival because what that does is loosen the top so the rain gets in and connects the top with the moist below so in effect with minimal rain the ground quickly becomes heavy and testing !
I think this explains the year Flagship Uberalles ran  40 seconds slower the following day after a few hours of drizzle !

What the writer was trying to say only if it rains during the festival does it suit soft/heavy ground horses but more than that it makes the horses stamina even more important.

Just another thing to be considered when placing a bet.

Looking at the forecast for the coming week it is time to sit down, assess what you consider to be the horses who will be best suited to what is mentioned above and bet accordingly.

As is always the case at this venue the safest bets are the ones that have been here b4 and performed to their absolute best in championship paced races.

You don't have to delve to deep to find one or two potential week paying golden nuggets.
Report buddeliea March 13, 2016 8:02 AM GMT
So I wonder what that would do to the ground if that bit of rain forecast turns up on Friday??
Report dyno-layer March 13, 2016 8:07 AM GMT
Worry about friday on friday . Cool
Report dyno-layer March 13, 2016 8:10 AM GMT
The good thing about the potential threat of a shower or two will ensure that he doesnt have to start watering.
Report charlieptl March 13, 2016 8:31 AM GMT
I live in Prestbury and it is lovely and sunny here at the moment. Walking the dog up the course later so will report back once I am done
Report Mr Eboue March 13, 2016 12:04 PM GMT
A stunning spring day.

Wispy cirrus cloud complementing an azure sky.

Warm - eleven degrees.
Report Orsoncart March 13, 2016 12:12 PM GMT
Thanks again Mr E, most helpful, will be able to see for myself tomorrow afternoon, let's hope the racing lives up to what looks like another cracking year.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 13, 2016 12:44 PM GMT
This trampoline effect has been in evidence at a couple of festivals that I can remember and it is both very safe ground and leads to exceptionally fast times but as mentioned the ground turns very soft very quickly with relatively small amounts of rain. I certainly won't be taking any firm views about the racing later in the week. It'll definitely be a day by day adventure and if Claisse even thinks about sprinkling some water on the course at any stage I won't be getting involved at all.
Report charlieptl March 13, 2016 2:14 PM GMT
it was so warm on course i had to take off my coat. i was last back early feb and the ground is completely different
Report charlieptl March 13, 2016 2:14 PM GMT
it was so warm on course i had to take off my coat. i was last back early feb and the ground is completely different
Report geoff m March 13, 2016 3:43 PM GMT
latest going Soft /Gd To Soft in places Going Stick 5.8
Report The Dragon March 13, 2016 3:46 PM GMT
very warm today
Report Can't Catch Me March 13, 2016 5:14 PM GMT
Good to Soft (soft in places) for Tuesday. Nap.
Report roobuck March 13, 2016 5:35 PM GMT
Two more days like today don't reckon there'll be any soft. Could be good in places by Wednesday
Report Can't Catch Me March 13, 2016 5:52 PM GMT
But they will decide the going early morning won't they roo? So only one more day to go essentially.
Report impossible123 March 13, 2016 6:55 PM GMT
If good going, could Camping Ground run in the WH having been taken out? Min, Altior, Douvan, MOT, NMH, Vautour, DC, Shantou Village to name a few will benefit greatly in my view.
Report roobuck March 13, 2016 7:02 PM GMT
Yes CCM if looking for betting purposes. But whatever for political reasons, Good to,Soft will be official going.

Don't think any horse that needs soft in going is going to be favoured this the moment obviously
Report charlieptl March 14, 2016 9:02 AM GMT
No rain here overnight, temperature and sun picking up. Supreme run on good fresh ground.
Report Cash Is King March 14, 2016 9:54 AM GMT
Kim Bailey described it as tacky when he walked the course at the weekend. My take on that is that it's not ideal for either soft or good ground horses. In his blog he says that there's a possibility of the going riding good only towards the end of the week. (Provided of course Simple Simon and his watering can are held at bay.)
Report jasey March 14, 2016 10:06 AM GMT
Kim Bailey tweeted on Saturday "I walked the course and its soft and will ride holding on Tuesday.Course looking great".
No mention of tacky or is that what holding means.
Report Ibrahima Sonko March 14, 2016 10:10 AM GMT
read his blog this morning
Report Can't Catch Me March 14, 2016 10:24 AM GMT
He definitely said tacky in the one I read.
Report jasey March 14, 2016 10:25 AM GMT
Got ya.
Report jasey March 14, 2016 10:31 AM GMT
Ye thx just read his blog.
Report Mr Eboue March 14, 2016 2:17 PM GMT
Gorgeous sunshine again. Blue skies.

What a time to be alive.
Report tommycockles March 14, 2016 2:41 PM GMT
CheltenhamRacecourse ‏@CheltenhamRaces 7 mins7 minutes ago

The updated going on all courses is Good to Soft, Soft in places. #TheFestival
Report festivalfanatic March 14, 2016 2:57 PM GMT
Good to soft all round in another 24 hours. It will be drying big time this afternoon - both sunny and windy. You can put a line through anything that needs proper soft ground, that's for sure.
Report ImSoLuckyLucky! March 14, 2016 2:59 PM GMT
Its a COLD day

Beta your wrong

Report festivalfanatic March 14, 2016 4:42 PM GMT
Going stick reading 6.7 on the Old Course at 2.00PM today. Perfect jumping ground tomorrow.
Report Ibrahima Sonko March 14, 2016 4:43 PM GMT
coat or no coat is the question
Report roobuck March 14, 2016 4:45 PM GMT
Ground changing so quickly I fear Claisse will be twitchy by Wednesday night
Report festivalfanatic March 14, 2016 5:00 PM GMT
New course is a bit slower at the moment.

I'm definitely taking a coat tomorrow!
Report Ibrahima Sonko March 14, 2016 5:33 PM GMT
& me, just popped down the shops, its freezing with a strong breeze.
Report Makybe_Diva March 14, 2016 6:56 PM GMT
Wrap up warm.
Report Mr Eboue March 14, 2016 7:00 PM GMT

It's very nice in the sun but still very chilly.

I got a bit excited yesterday and went out in shorts and a t shirt.

Regretted it immediately.
Report KIMBLE March 17, 2016 8:26 PM GMT
well, any rain 2mw?
Report The Sawyer March 18, 2016 6:30 AM GMT
Frost in the ground - should soon warm up tho
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