Cheltenham Festival passes inspection

Snow covered tracks with racehorses walking on it, dated January 19, 2001
© PA Photos
The track at Cheltenham is passed fit despite the freezing conditions for day one of the festival.

The Old Course at Cheltenham has been deemed fit for racing ahead of the four-day meeting which begins this afternoon.

Doubts had been raised as to whether the opening day would go ahead because of the freezing conditions in Gloucestershire, with some reports having claimed that the temperature got down to minus 12 overnight after the wind-chill had been taken into account.

However, following an inspection, officials have decided that the course is in a good enough condition.

Despite being given the all-clear, the opening race, which was due to start at 1.30pm, will now get underway at 2.05pm. Races thereafter will be run 30 minutes behind the original allotted time.

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