AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

Dorothy, we’re not in Cheltenham anymore

Punters need to be all over the weather forecasts as much as the formbook on the run-up to Cheltenham and that can be scary stuff.

With the sun making a welcome appearance this week the ground is drying up at Prestbury Park and clerk of the course Simon Claisse is already set to drop the “soft in places” from the going description for the hurdles and chases on both tracks.

He said yesterday: “It has been relatively warm and breezy compared to what it has been.”

Looking ahead, he added: “The forecast remains as it was last week, with bits and pieces of rain forecast from Wednesday until Tuesday amounting to a total of around 15mm.”

How much rain we do get however is anyone’s guess, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.

Star Sports turned on Sky News but they through a spanner in the works with the report that “rain is expected to sweep into the south by Thursday which could last until Tuesday of next week, while temperatures could fall to as low as -2C.”

Of course if it dries up too much Claisse has the taps at his disposal but that can only work one way. The inverse of sending a steak cooked medium back to the kitchen and asking for it to be medium rare.

Claisse has a huge responsibility on his hands. Punters are scouring through a seasons worth of form of predoniminatly testing ground both sides of the Irish Sea so would no doubt want that ease to continue throughout the Festival.

For many punters it’s the single most important factor and the forecasts are challenging to say the least. There’s a ruddy big scarecrow hovering over Prestbury Park.