Rainfall Prompts Talk of a Soft Ground Cheltenham Festival
Throughout the winter months we have had unseasonably quick ground a lot of the time, which has caused chaos for a lot of runners. We have seen some strange results, with Verdana Blue beating Buveur D’Air, and we have also seen a lot of horses not running as often as they should, because the ground hasn’t been right.
However, those who need soft ground look set to be in luck next week at Cheltenham, with the ground at the festival set to start at either good to soft or soft on Tuesday, and probably get worse throughout the festival until we reach the Gold Cup on Friday.
There will be many trainers pleased with that, but on the whole is shouldn’t be negative for too many runners. We will get genuine soft jumping ground, which is predominantly what people want and what horses want, so we should see a lot of happy faces.
The rain is set to continue throughout the festival, and when you couple that with the fact that we will have had three and a half days worth of racing on the surface, I think we will see a real slog in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.
Expect the conditions to be very similar to last season, when Native River came out on top by grinding it out and battling harder than anyone else. He is a horse that certainly won’t mind the rain, and a race ran like last season’s Gold Cup would suit him down to the ground. Don’t be surprised to see him move into favouritism if the rain comes as expected when the action begins next Tuesday.
We are now less than a week away from the biggest week of jump racing in the calendar, and the rain looks as though it will be joining us.