In the latest of our Cheltenham Countdown series on the festival specials markets, we go all John Kettley and consider the racing conditions.
Our selections at Sandown on Saturday, and previously at west country venue Wincanton, were all at sea on rapidly drying ground.
This provides some food for thought for the big week ahead, and it look as if for this year’s festival mud-larks need not apply.
Indeed, with the weather set fair, it would be no surprise to see clerk of the course Simon Claisse get his hose out before racing this week to keep a little juice in the surface.
We have become used to seeing official going described as “good to soft” to start Cheltenham festivals – almost regardless of the actual underhoof conditions.
That is highly likely to be the case again, although the 6/1 on offer with Skybet and Betfair on the principal going description being “good” looks tempting, this having tightened to 7/2 with most other bookmakers.
An official declaration of “good, good to soft in places” would land the odds whilst arguably giving Claisse his required “safe” surface. It’s unlikely, but perhaps not 6/1 unlikely now that Spring has sprung.
Recommendation: Official Going Description – Good, 6/1, Betfair & Skybet
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Click here for the Daniel Watkins Cheltenham Guide 2017