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Smoke signals all look good says management; CHELTENHAM 2008 SIX DAYS TO GO.

Byline: By Lee Mottershead

CHELTENHAM'S management has no worries that a ban on racegoers smoking indoors will have any adverse effects on next week's meeting.

This year's festival will be the first staged since the government's smoking legislation was introduced last July, but having raced on nine days since that new law began to be enforced, Cheltenham has no concerns ahead of its showpiece fixture.

"We have no worries at all," said Cheltenham spokesman Andy Clifton.

"We had a pretty good trial run during the Open meeting and are confident things will be absolutely fine.

"We have slightly redesigned the tented village to create a few areas where we expect smokers to congregate and we've also bought 150 cigarette bins that have been placed around the racecourse.

"Our view is that we are not going to treat smokers like naughty schoolchildren. Smoking will be permitted in all outside areas except in reserved grandstand seats, and smoking will also be allowed on box balconies, providing the host of the box is happy with that."

Clifton added: "People are likely to congregate around the back of the grandstand, and that is where we could have the most difficulty. However, I expect what will happen is that two lanes will form, with the smokers ending up a bit closer to the corridor wall than normal.

"There will be stewards around, and if there is a major problem we will try to do something about it, but there's probably a limit to what we can do."

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Smokers won't be treated as "naughty schoolchildren"
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 5, 2008
Words:261
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