Cheltenham off on New Year's Day

Mon 31st Dec 2012, 09:29
No racing at Cheltenham tomorrow
No racing at Cheltenham tomorrow
(Healy Racing Photos)
Cheltenham's fixture on New Year's Day has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Course officials at Prestbury Park had scheduled a 3pm inspection this afternoon, but saw no reason in delaying the inevitable.

With further rain forecast, the track remains unraceable in places due to saturated ground.

Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: "Sadly we've had to take the decision earlier than we thought to abandon the meeting.

"We've had more rainfall - it's still raining here now - and there's quite a lot more rain forecast between now and 2pm.

"The course is waterlogged in too many places.

"We have been in discussions with the BHA over the last few days to see if the Dipper (Novices' Chase) might find a home somewhere else."

Meanwhile, Exeter's fixture on New Year's Day must pass an 8am precautionary inspection on raceday morning.

Although the track was raceable on Monday morning, further heavy rain has been forecast.

The going is currently heavy.

Clerk of the course Barry Johnson said: "We're perfectly raceable at present, but we could easily get up to an inch (of rain).

"If we get an inch we might struggle, but I don't think we'll get as much as that.

"I'm quite hopeful we'll be OK, but it makes sense to have a look first thing in the morning."

Solwhit returns after long absence

Charles Byrnes will be as delighted as anyone that today's meeting at Punchestown goes ahead as it sees the eagerly-awaited return of his star hurdler Solwhit.