Cheltenham Festival: Weather set to improve with ground finally able to recover after horrendous winter

RAIN, rain, go away.

Simon Claisse, clerk of the course at Cheltenham, seems to have got his wish with an unsettled forecast finally looking on the up.

Little rain is forecast for the week ahead – but as always this can change – and Claisse expects the ground to steadily dry.

The current going is soft all over, with some heavy ground on the Cross Country course, but that may be altered if there is an actual dry spell.

Claisse said: "Next week is looking more settled than what we expected.

"If it's as fair as it could be then there may even be some good to soft in the going, and we haven't had that since the start of the season."

14 mm of rain has fallen since Wednesday at Cheltenham and the bookies currently believe the going will remain soft come the opening day next Tuesday.

Soft is favourite at a best-priced 4-6 for the official going on Day 1, with good to soft available at 13-8, heavy at 7-1 and an unlikely good a huge 50-1.

But with 12 more cases of Coronavirus announced on Sunday by the government, it could be something more serious the BHA and the Jockey Club are looking at over the coming days.

With just over a week to go until the Festival, the racing authorities are expected to make a further update early in the week.

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