Inspection called at Cheltenham

Cheltenham has called an 8am inspection for Friday ahead of Saturday's big Trials Day meeting at the track.

Officials at Prestbury Park have been battling the elements in a bid to stage the fixture, which is set to feature Sprinter Sacre, Bobs Worth and Tidal Bay, amongst others.

They covered the track before the current cold spell set in and the ground is reported to be soft underneath the covers.

However, clerk of the course Simon Claisse will assess conditions on Friday morning, with the track having the option of delaying the meeting until Sunday if the course is not fit to race.

Cheltenham communications manager Andy Clifton said: "We had two centimetres of snow overnight, which is being removed from the frost covers.

"We are also working hard to make sure the rest of the site is safe.

"There is no snow of significance in any of the forecasts and it is due to stay dry until Friday night.

"As things stand, we will be hopeful Saturday will be able to go as planned, but we are still keeping the option open for Sunday, should it prove necessary.

"We will look at the course on Friday morning - the frost covers will have been down for 10 days by then - and it makes sense to let people know what is going on as soon as possible.

"We are as hopeful as we have been for a couple of days that Saturday will go ahead.

"But, having got this far, it makes sense to keep our options open."

Officials at Sedgefield, meanwhile, are pessimistic about their chances of racing on Sunday after calling an inspection for 2pm on Thursday.

Clerk of the course Phil Tuck admits the meeting is likely to be called off as the track is covered by snow with little chance of an immediate improvement.

He said: "I think it will be a formality really as it's not looking good here.

"We have got quite a lot of snow on the track, maybe five inches or so, and more in other areas where the snow has drifted.

"The temperature is forecast to drop to -4C tonight which does not give us much hope, so we will have a look tomorrow."

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