Cheltenham boss Claisse orders a cover up

Simon Claisse
Simon Claisse
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Cheltenham’s clerk of the course Simon Claisse is taking every precaution to ensure next weekend’s Trials Day meeting goes ahead by putting down frost covers a week before the fixture.

Sub-zero temperatures are forecast midweek, but nothing which at this stage has Claisse unduly worried.

“There’s a little bit of wet snow forecast over the weekend, but it’s more to do with the overnight temperatures as to why we are covering up,” said Claisse.

“We’re looking a minus 2C tonight but it could get down as low as minus 7C on Tuesday so by putting the covers down we just prevent the frost getting into the ground at all.

“It is then due to improve by the end of the week with Friday and Saturday looking better.

“We’ve had it much colder than that and raced when we’ve had the covers down.”

One trainer looking forward to the meeting is Dan Skelton with his exciting prospect Value At Risk. A smart bumper horse in Ireland for Philip Fenton, he absolutely bolted up on his hurdling debut at Newbury and is on target for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.

“Value At Risk’s preparation has gone very smoothly and, since Newbury, it has always been the plan to take him to Cheltenham next Saturday,” said Skelton. “The weather is looking very wet but we are really looking forward to running him.

“I thought he would win at Newbury but I did not expect him to do it as impressively as he did. We had left a lot to work on because we have got next year in the back our minds.

“He will have an entry in both the Neptune and Albert Bartlett at The Festival, but he is very much a horse for the future.”

Roger Varian has been dealt a big blow with the news that Qipco 1000 Guineas second-favourite Cursory Glance will miss the Classic.

Winner of the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, the daughter of Distorted Humor gave Varian a Group One win in Ireland when landing the Moyglare Stud Stakes last September.