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cheltenham all set for a dry festival.

Racing on the opening day of the cheltenham Festival could start on good to soft going as the ground continues to dry out and with hardly any rain forecast over the next few days.

clerk of the course Simon claisse described the going as good to soft, soft in places yesterday afternoon -but would not be surprised if conditions had dried out more come first race time today.

"We are good to soft, soft in places. You wouldn't have thought it after over an inch of rain last Tuesday night which left some of the course under water," claisse said.

"it's been pretty breezy both yesterday and today, windier than expected and the sun's been out, so it's dried really nicely.

"Those soft in places may disappear. They are predominately in the chute, so that's races over two and a half miles. The two-milers and the three-milers are good to soft ground and there may be a little good in it by the first race."

confirming a settle forecast, cliasse told Racing UK: "The weather is set to be as it has been today. We may get a bit more cloud on a couple of days, pleasant temperatures 9c or 10c, not overly warm and a bit of a breeze.

"if we were in control of it, we'd be really happy with what we're looking at over the next couple of days. There is very little rain forecast, maybe a light shower on Wednesday and again on Friday.

"i'd be very surprised if we had to water. i wouldn't rule it out, but there's a lot of moisture in the ground. We'll see how it rides on Tuesday and Wednesday. "i hope we'd get through the four days on really decent ground."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2016
Words:292
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