Thursday, March 06, 2008

Straight forecast for Cheltenham?

The weekend before the Festival, the calm before the storm, tends to be a tense time for owners, trainers, jockeys and, of course, punters alike. One thing for certain is that tomorrow we'll know whether champion jockey Tony McCoy has been passed fit to ride following his fall at Warwick in January. On the other hand the weather has a much more uncertain look, with, at this stage, wet conditions now looking more likely than not for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Many of the preview articles in the Weekender and the Raceform Update Cheltenham Guide have been written on the understanding that the ground will ride just on the soft side of good and progressively dry out through the week. If the forecast rain arrives, the ground is likely to ride much softer at the start of the meeting. As always, I'll be at Cheltenham on Wednesday but with the uncertainty surrounding the state of the ground, I have decided to resist a couple of early 'nibbles' in the local bookmakers' outlets and will now probably wait until the day before getting involved.

The racing might be low key at the moment but Howard Johnson, together with supporters of World Hurdle favourite Inglis Drever, will have been pleased to see Companero win at Carlisle today following a lean spell for the stable.

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