Taps off with rain forecast
Forecast rain towards the end of next week ought to mean Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse will not have to water the ground ahead of the Festival.
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Claisse's recent suggestion that watering could be a possibility, despite the extraordinarily wet winter, came as a surprise, but he explained that it has been drying out quickly in his part of the Cotswolds.
"We've had very little rain in the last couple of weeks, and last Wednesday I said that if it continued to dry out I would be saying the ground is good to soft," he said.
"But since last Wednesday it has been exceptionally cold and grey and it would only take tiny amounts of rain to make a difference to the ground.
"At the moment, each track is good to soft, soft in places, but as we move into next week we lose the frosts and start to see temperatures climbing.
"However between next Thursday and the start of the first race, a range of between 15 and 18 millimetres of rain is forecast.
"A lot can change, but if the forecast is right, we will not be watering."