Cheltenham Festival

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26 Feb 21 06:28
Date Joined: 16 Feb 03
| Topic/replies: 6,444 | Blogger: unclepuncle's blog
Been a shocking winter with Cheltenham having to abandon their last two fixtures and the water table must still be very high.
But it's been a lovely week so far and forecast says it will stay dry and mild for the next 2 weeks.
Given the drainage at Cheltenham if it continues to stay dry in the 5 days before the meeting starts then Claisse may even have to get the hose out.Cry

Going to be plenty of form that will go out of the window.Devil

Can't find any betting on the going market this year.Cry
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Report irishone February 26, 2021 7:15 AM GMT
I used to think Simon was dodgy but the course is littered with slopes,and the apex of some of the bends is dangerous, the camber of the ground falls away instead of being banked inwards. If he had his way he would rebuild it . As for the going stick  him and his staff know exactly where to put it in the designated areas to get the good to soft, the trees on the far side do their jobs. As long as he keeps " heavy " out of the goung he stays !
Report irishone February 26, 2021 7:16 AM GMT
Report irishone February 26, 2021 7:21 AM GMT
"Banked outwards" I meant to say from the rails.Years ago I went with a groundsman to a seminar and Claisse was the main speaker, he is highly professional and the equipment they use at Cheltenham is top of the range.
Report Cash Is King February 26, 2021 2:47 PM GMT
It would be a welcome change to have the festival run on genuine, ie unwatered, good to soft going.  I suspect however that Claisse won't be able to resist watering if the current dry spell continues much longer.
Report Ming_the_Merciless February 27, 2021 9:29 AM GMT
keep the updates coming - this is the most precious thread here right now.

Long range forecast dry - windy - dash of rain Wednesday - then more drying weather... odd showers later.

It's a late Fez this year and I would back G-Soft on Tuesday.

I'm making some ridiculous ante-post bets on this 'fact' CrazyCrazyCrazy
Report irishone February 28, 2021 10:30 AM GMT
Ben's battle (the one who gets his hands dirty,can't remember his last name )isnt with the ground or the grass its the unpredictable weather.
Report sageform March 2, 2021 11:30 AM GMT
Plumpton had the word firm in their going yesterday so leaving ground unwatered for 2 weeks is a non starter.
Report strontium March 3, 2021 2:04 PM GMT
Currently good to soft, soft in places.
Report 3 valleys March 3, 2021 3:07 PM GMT
I live 10 minutes from course by car and walk my dog there every weekend so will get on the course this weekend and post back , if the field over the road from me is anything to go by G/S but doubt if it'd need much rain to put soft into the mix No doubt Simon will be chomping at the bit to turn the taps on though as he always has an eye on Fridays going after 3 days racing
Report GAZO March 3, 2021 3:32 PM GMT
if you spot him with a hosepipe this weekend set your dog on him
Report paulo47 March 3, 2021 4:11 PM GMT
One thing is certain , the authorities ' especially this year ' will want a Festival untarnished by as few  fatalities as they are able to prevent .
Report guernseylion March 3, 2021 7:07 PM GMT
very true paulo that old hosepipe will be at the ready
Report sageform March 3, 2021 7:12 PM GMT
How much rain did they get today? Some places had a lot, some none.
Report Andymca March 3, 2021 11:09 PM GMT
Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse expects the ground at Prestbury Park to be mainly good to soft for the start of the four-day Festival in 13 days’ time.

Claisse’s assessment is the going report will also contain either good or soft in places.

“As things currently stand I have a good sense we are going to start with good to soft and ‘something’ in places – whether it is good in places or soft in places – with the normal caveat based on the current forecast,” he told a press conference zoom call.

Despite a very wet mid-winter, Claisse is happy with conditions on all three courses – the Old, New and Cross Country.

“The track is looking in great nick – and maybe we could be looking for some rain in a week or so’s time, which is ironic in a way,” he said.

“All courses are now set up and ready to go and where we want to be with a fortnight before we start racing.

“The Old course, which is the one we use on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Cross Country on the Wednesday, is currently good to soft, soft in places and the New course too for Thursday and Friday is good to soft, soft in places.

“It’s where we would like to be with 13 days before we start racing.”

The current dry spell has been well-received, after the wettest winter Claisse can recall.

“What a relief after a wet winter we’ve had eight dry days, which have helped ground staff out enormously with their preparations,” he went on.

“We’ve really had unprecedented rainfall over the winter, and particularly over Christmas, that sadly saw us lose the first of January and again at the end of the month when the course was flooded three times across in less than 24 or 25 days – something I’ve never seen here in 20 years.”

As for the forecast – for which Cheltenham have John Kettley as their weather consultant – Claisse said: “It is looking like the dry spell will continue until the early part of next week, so every expectation at the beginning of next week we will be looking at ground as good to soft, good in places.

“There is then a spell of rain which would bring us back to where we are at the moment – good to soft, soft. It might flip it to soft, good to soft – but beyond next Wednesday/Thursday it turns slightly cooler again and is looking like being a dry weekend before the Festival.

“I’m not going to speculate as to what is going to happen the week of the 15th. At the moment everything is in fine shape.

“The ground we use at the Festival is preserved behind rails throughout the season, October to December – so basically what we’re racing on, no horse has set foot on for the best part of 12 months.”
Report 3 valleys March 5, 2021 11:06 PM GMT
bit of rain last night but a drying wind all day will have negated that Paulo makes excellent point after the negative publicity of this week can't afford a list of fatalities at the festival so little chance of it being good
Report Cash Is King March 10, 2021 8:42 AM GMT
Weather forecast for today and tomorrow predicts plenty of rain.

Seems strange then that Claisse should decide to water the course yesterday, albeit selectively.

If it’s a dry week next week he’ll be watering again whatever the rainfall in the run up to Tuesday. My concern is he’ll succeed in producing dead ground which nobody seems to like. Also, if it does rain next week, it wouldn’t take much to turn the going soft because the water table is so high.
Report harry callaghan March 10, 2021 9:18 AM GMT
Cash where did you read he watered yesterday? No doubt end up another swamp, I can’t remember the last time he produced nice ground
Report Andymca March 10, 2021 9:31 AM GMT
I hear there is a severe weather warning for next week, a green tsunami is fast approaching
Report Cash Is King March 10, 2021 11:40 AM GMT
Harry - I read it on one of the Fat Jockey threads.
Report strontium March 10, 2021 11:44 AM GMT
There's no mention of watering in this morning's going report. Mostly good (g-to-s in places), with showers forecast for the next 4 days.
Report sageform March 10, 2021 12:02 PM GMT
Unless they are an exception to the rest of the country, they must be expecting at least 8-10 mm in the next 48 hours which will turn it soft but after that it looks dry.
Report Cash Is King March 10, 2021 12:06 PM GMT
With the weather forecast being what it is I wouldn't have thought it necessary for Claisse to undertake any pre-Festival watering. Claisse is however a law unto himself who's been in post far too long.  The photo on the Fat Jockey website clearly shows the sprinklers in action and was apparently taken yesterday.

Am happy to have him onside when it's touch and go if racing will be allowed to go ahead but his going reports are notoriously unreliable and are altered (after the first race is run) far too frequently than should be the case if they were accurate in the first place.
Report impossible123 March 10, 2021 1:41 PM GMT
Any daily update will be greatly appreciated. As it is I think it will be fair ground for all.
Report irishone March 10, 2021 2:39 PM GMT
You are correct Cash
He has the BHA by the bowlux
Report strontium March 10, 2021 3:01 PM GMT
Impossible - you can see the going map (updated most days) on the Turftrax website.
Report harry callaghan March 10, 2021 4:26 PM GMT
I’d be a little suspicious of that cash tbh but thanks anyway
Report impossible123 March 10, 2021 6:28 PM GMT
Thanks 'strontium'.
Report sageform March 11, 2021 2:25 PM GMT
Hardly any rain at cheltenham yesterday apparently. Very different story from Wincanton and Fontwell!
Report differentdrum March 11, 2021 8:20 PM GMT
Paul Kealy talking as if it will be something like good on the first day. I doubt it, it is already officially mainly good to soft.
Report FOYLESWAR March 11, 2021 8:35 PM GMT
last thing racing needs is any more negative publicity hosepipe will be out shirley
Report differentdrum March 11, 2021 8:48 PM GMT
Tony Calvin quite rightly taking the piss out of him.
Report pmt March 11, 2021 10:58 PM GMT
March 11th and last year we were already halfway through the festival. No rain forecast after Tuesday and it must be fast ground by Gold Cup day. Will suit the likes of Frodon.
Report irishone March 12, 2021 7:19 AM GMT
That race wont be run at two and a half mile pace
Report strontium March 12, 2021 10:22 AM GMT
Good to soft all over now after 6 mm of overnight rain.
Report impossible123 March 12, 2021 7:20 PM GMT
According to a weather website tomorrow and wednesday about 6mm and 5mm of rain respectively with only a smidgeon in between; thursday and friday dry.
Report Cash Is King March 13, 2021 9:32 AM GMT
Currently good to soft, soft in places on all courses after overnight rain.

Makes Claisse’s decision to water selectively earlier in the week all the more surprising. Let’s hope he doesn’t do any more watering over the course of the next week.

It clearly doesn’t take much rain to turn the going soft.
Report GAZO March 13, 2021 9:40 AM GMT
looking at turftrax Claisse shouldnt have to go anywhere near a hosepipe unless for colonic irrigation purposes
Report geoff m March 13, 2021 9:44 AM GMT
7mm overnight
Report sageform March 13, 2021 10:45 AM GMT
Surely selective watering is designed to even up the going? Without it the thinner areas of soil would be much firmer than the deep ones.
Report harry callaghan March 15, 2021 8:19 AM GMT
The Cheltenham Festival 2021
Next Race Meeting  16/03/2021
Report Date  15/03/2021 07:40:00
Official Going  Soft, Good to Soft (in places)
Watering  N/A
Rails  Stud chase bend dolled out 6 yards, adding 19 yards to the advertised distance of Race 7. All other races distances as advertised.
10mm overnight. Outlook for week mostly dry, 12C.

Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 March 15, 2021 9:42 AM GMT
Almost certain to be Soft good/soft in places for start, then moving good/soft soft in places later in the day though will depend on how much wind there is about between now and 13:20 tomorrow
Report kingG111111 March 15, 2021 12:29 PM GMT
Can epatante win on this ground
Report sageform March 15, 2021 7:41 PM GMT
A bit more rain now forecast overnight so Mr Claisse must be cursing the forecasters.
Report Cash Is King March 15, 2021 7:56 PM GMT
What was Claisse thinking when he watered selectively last week? He hasn't publicised the fact but the photo tells its own story.
Report legend111 March 15, 2021 9:19 PM GMT
Still odds against Soft what do others know that we don't get offically currently Soft (G/S) in places more rain due overnight i must be missing something
Report Platini March 15, 2021 11:24 PM GMT
Soft was always on the cards after the Elliot fallout.
Report geoff m March 16, 2021 6:57 AM GMT
egend11115 Mar 21 22:19Joined: 03 Feb 04 | Topic/replies: 137 | Blogger: legend111's blog
Still odds against Soft what do others know that we don't get offically currently Soft (G/S) in places more rain due overnight i must be missing something

Taking odds against soft?
Now odds on.
Report sageform March 16, 2021 10:12 AM GMT
We have had an hour of steady rain in Somerset this morning, maybe less at Chelts.
Report Movewiththetimes March 17, 2021 9:06 PM GMT
Is the going still good to soft?
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