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Clerk of the course Simon Claisse is delighted with the way the ground has been received by racing professionals ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

Thanks to a mainly dry week, Claisse was able to change the going from soft to soft, good to soft in places on both old and new courses on Saturday afternoon (Sunday AEDT).

“We’ve done quite well. We’ve had a relatively dry week apart from a little bit of a shower or two on Wednesday, but I’m delighted with the way the ground is walking,” Claisse told ITV Racing.

“We must remember what we are racing on next week they’ve not set foot on, other than where the old and new courses cross, for 12 months.

“We’re really pleased with it and the professionals who have been round here the last week have said likewise.

“They can’t believe how much grass we’ve got and they can’t believe how decent the going is and I’ve changed it from soft to change it to soft, good to soft in places on both the old and new courses.”

Claisse said the forecast was for a mainly dry week for the four-day meeting which begins on Tuesday.

One trainer who is hoping for a successful week is Irish trainer Willie Mullins, who reported all well with his big team, which is led by Al Boum Photo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“All good so far and it’s fingers, toes and everything crossed,” Mullins said after a win at Gowran.

“The first lorries left this morning. Hopefully it’s not as rough on the seas as it is here.”

 
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