Monday's Cheltenham warm-up at Stratford rained off

A waterlogged race track being ridden over by Pardini on December 11, 2006
© PA Photos
Monday's popular Cheltenham Festival warm-up at Stratford is called off because of a waterlogged track.

Monday's race meet at Stratford has been called off early because of a waterlogged track.

The meeting falls on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival and has always attracted a large crowd.

Clerk of the course Stephen Lambert said this morning that there was "no alternative" to the decision to call it off.

"Although we didn't have much rain overnight, we have had persistent rain over the past few days on ground that was already very tender," Lambert said.

"The course has been flooded three times this winter and conditions are desperate at the moment.

"It's a great shame as this is always a good meeting for us, but we've been left with absolutely no alternative."

The Cheltenham Festival runs from Tuesday to Friday, with the feature Gold Cup rounding things off on the last day.

Snow covered tracks with racehorses walking on it, dated January 19, 2001
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