Cheltenham Festival Weather Update As Storm Gareth Wreaks Havoc

Martin Green

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 7:04 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019 7:04 PM UTC

Storm Gareth battered Britain during the first day of the Cheltenham Festival and tomorrow’s action has now been plunged into jeopardy.

<p>Visitors battled fierce winds and vicious downpours at the famous racecourse today, although it did not stop the ladies wearing <a href="" target="_blank" title="Daily Mail">fringed outfits and daring hemlines</a>. Yet the second day of the festival is now under serious threat of being abandoned, as officials fear that the 50mph winds forecast could damage temporary buildings at the course.</p><p>“Strong gusting winds are forecast for the area on Wednesday, but their precise strength and location are not possible to predict in advance,” said Ian Renton, regional director at the Jockey Club. “We are currently looking at forecasts of gusts in excess of 45mph, which may present challenges out on the track and around the site, dependent on their direction. We remain optimistic and we will assess the situation in the morning, working with our team, forecasters, the BHA and our Safety Advisory Group, in order to make a decision about whether racing goes ahead as planned.”</p><p>The Wednesday racing was abandoned at the 2008 festival due to high winds, and officials ended up packing those delayed races into bumper cards on the following two days. But this year the Jockey Club said it will move the whole of Wednesday’s card to Saturday if racing has to be abandoned tomorrow. A course inspection is due to take place at 8am. If racing does go ahead, look out for tough horses that can thrive on soft to heavy ground and in unsettled conditions. The <a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Chase">Champion Chase</a> is the big race tomorrow and Altior is bidding to defend his crown. He has been heavily backed, and punters will hope his preparations are not too badly disturbed by the chaos this storm has wrought.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:16px;"><a href="" target="_blank" title="Click for our full Cheltenham Festival Horse Racing Guide">Click for our full Cheltenham Festival Horse Racing Guide</a></span></strong></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:16px;">Related articles: </span></strong></p><ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Chase Betting Preview">Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Preview</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival 2019: Horse Racing Tips And Essential Betting Guide">Cheltenham Festival 2019: Horse Racing Tips And Essential Betting Guide</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Gordon Elliott: Cheltenham Festival Trainer Profile">Gordon Elliott: Cheltenham Festival Trainer Profile</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Willie Mullins: Cheltenham Festival Trainer Profile">Willie Mullins: Cheltenham Festival Trainer Profile</a></li></ul><p> </p>
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