The recent bad weather has taken its toll on the UK jumps racing scene over the last few weeks, but Cheltenham racecourse are hopeful of beating the weather ahead of their ‘Trials Day’ Saturday fixture, despite the track still being frozen.
Cheltenham Track Frozen but Forecast Set To Improve
The clerk of the course at Cheltenham racecourse, Jon Pullin has said that he’s “fairly hopeful” the home of jumps racing will be able to beat the recent cold spell that has claimed so many UK National Hunt fixtures recently – including last Saturday’s big Clarence House Chase card at Ascot.
The Prestbury Park venue is due to stage their final meeting before the Cheltenham Festival this Saturday (28th January) for what is now a 9-race bumper Trials Day card.
It was only last month that the track has to call off the Saturday of their December Meeting fixture due to snow and freezing weather, but with warmer conditions on the way before Wednesday the track officials are hopeful they will get the ‘green light’ to race this weekend.
Ground Currently Soft and Frozen in Places
On Tuesday the track is still reporting the track ‘soft and frozen in places’ on both the hurdles and chase courses, but with the daytime forecast expected to see temperatures rise to 7C as the week goes on, then the course is expected to thaw out before Saturday.
Clerk of the Course, Jon Pullin told the Racing Post on Monday: “At the moment we’re frozen but some milder air is due to move in from Wednesday onwards. We didn’t drop below 0C last night, thankfully, and it’ll stay between 3C or 4C on Tuesday.
“There’ll be a sharper frost this evening, possibly -4C, but from Wednesday it’ll be warmer with daytime temperatures up to 7C. It could dip down to 0C on Thursday and Friday evening but daytime temperatures on Saturday will be similar and should be above 0C from midnight onwards.
“If the forecast is right then we’d be fairly hopeful that conditions would have improved enough.”
Cheltenham Trials Day Now a Bumper Nine-Race Card
Providing the weather forecast is correct then racegoers at Cheltenham can look forward to a bumper nine-race card, with last week’s cancelled Ascot Clarence House Chase and Cross Country Chase (moved from the November Meeting) added, which will get the juices flowing ahead of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, which starts on Tuesday 14th March.
You can see the full 2023 Cheltenham Trials Day race schedule and times below – with the action getting going early at 11:40am.
It's a NINE race card…🤯
Saturday's Festival Trials Day looks 💯 pic.twitter.com/V9i9WVZ9Z6
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) January 23, 2023
2023 Cheltenham Trials Day Race Schedule and Times (Sat 28th Jan 23)
- 11:40 – JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Finesse) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo) 2m1f RTV
- 12:10 – Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 2m4½f RTV
- 12:40 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m6f RTV
- 1:20 – Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m½f ITV
- 1:50 – Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m4½f ITV
- 2:25 – Paddy Power Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m1½f ITV
- 3:00 – Dahlbury Stallions At Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m ITV
- 3:35 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Classic Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4½f ITV
- 4:10 – SSS Super Alloys Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m1f RTV
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