Frost covers on at Cheltenham
Cheltenham officials are preparing to take precautions against a forecast cold spell ahead of the start of the Festival.
With frost predicted for the first half of next week, the team at Prestbury Park are getting ready to put down frost covers on all vulnerable areas, including the take-offs and landings.
And if even colder weather comes into the equation, the entire course will be covered.
However, milder conditions should come in for the last two days of the meeting on Thursday and Friday.
"The forecast hasn't really changed since the beginning of the week, which is rain tomorrow then bits and pieces until Monday so we're looking at between 12 and 14 millimetres," said clerk of the course Simon Claisse.
"But it is getting cold at the beginning of next week. We are looking at dawn temperatures on Monday/Tuesday of minus 3C, minus 4C. We had minus 4C yesterday and were schooling horses on the cross-country course by 10am, so it shouldn't be any concern for us.
"However, just as a precaution we are using frost covers for take-offs and landings on the chase and hurdle courses for Tuesday.
"They will go down on Sunday together with other vulnerable areas and parts of the cross-country course.
"If that weather forecast deteriorates by Friday we may take the decision to do a full course deployment on Sunday. It's a little bit early to make that call.
"We are geared up to do that as it looks to be a prudent measure given that it is going to turn cold again before getting mild again for Thursday and Friday. There is no frost forecast for the end of next week."
The going is described as good to soft, good in places (chase and hurdle courses); good to soft, soft in places (cross country).
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.