Cheltenham Festival weather – no snow but punters brace for wet and wild forecast as going update revealed | The Sun

Cheltenham Festival weather – no snow but punters brace for wet and wild forecast as going update revealed | The Sun

PUNTERS are bracing for a wet and wild Cheltenham Festival – but it looks like snow will be a non-runner for racing's biggest meeting.

Both the BBC and Met Office forecast a much more settled to start to the action on Tuesday.

The famous roar – which has been remixed as part of this toe-tapping dance track – could be set against a backdrop of light showers.

The BBC say there is a 59 per cent chance of rain and sunshine between 1-2pm, with the curtain-raising Supreme Novices' Hurdle the first off at 1.30pm.

While the Met reckon a high of around 8C will greet the 68,500 punters just in time for the Champion Hurdle at 3.30pm.

The big race on day one will see superstar Constitution Hill put his record on the line for trainer Nicky Henderson.

Bookies did go as short as evens for snow to hit the Festival amid yet another freezing cold snap.

But the forecast looks much more promising initially.

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That could change as the week wears on though.

Thursday and Friday – Gold Cup day – look like they could be hit with frequent showers.

Last year's Cheltenham saw a downpour on Wednesday and the final race on that day, the Champion Bumper, being run in a bog.

William Hill reckon the official going description on Tuesday will be good to soft.

The odds of that are 8-13, with soft 7-4 and heavy 12-1.

William Hill spokesperson, Lee Phelps, said: "We kicked off the week with odds of 11-4 for the going to be soft for the Supreme, but that price has long gone and we’re now looking at just 7-4.

"Snow has begun to hit Gloucestershire and there’s a fair bit more in the forecast too, so the likelihood of a soft ground start to the Cheltenham Festival is getting stronger.

"Most will still be expecting Prestbury Park to be good to soft on Tuesday, but that’s on the drift from 2-5 to 8-13, and heavy ground, which is into 12-1 from 20-1, isn’t out of the equation."

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Meanwhile, the economic impact of last year's Festival was estimated to be £274million, according to the results of a special report undertaken by the University of Gloucestershire.

The figure is nearly three times the estimated total for the event in 2016, when Jump racing’s most prestigious four days secured approximately £100m for local businesses.

Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Managing Director for the West Region, said: "We welcomed a record crowd of 280,627 over the four days of The Festival in 2022 and it is very satisfying to see that have such a tremendously beneficial effect on the wider economy in the Cheltenham area.

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"Our links with the local community are strong and earlier this week we announced an enhanced version of the ‘Love Our Turf’ campaign at The Festival to put engagement with and the needs of our local residents and businesses at the heart of the event.

"I would like to thank everyone at the University of Gloucestershire who worked on this project – it has provided us with so many useful insights to help us plan for future Festivals."


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