Head of racing and clerk of the course at Cheltenham, Simon Claisse, reflected on a day of “awesome” quality at the end of Day One of The Festival™ supporting WellChild.
He added that the going, which had started the day as ‘Soft, Good to Soft in places’ following unexpectedly heavy rain on Sunday night, had dried out a little during a bright and sunny afternoon, hence a change to the official description after race five.
Claisse said: “The jockeys were saying after the first few races that it was certainly soft ground, and we kept an eye on the times, which I don’t think were getting particularly quicker. Clearly though on a day like today we will have lost a bit of moisture, so we did a reassessment after race five and changed it to ‘Good to Soft, Soft in places’.
“I’m leaving it there overnight and we’ll see what the morning brings. The forecast is for it to remain dry, but not as warm as today. I think it got up to 14 or 15C (centigrade) today, but tomorrow it will be a little bit cooler - probably around 11 or 12. The unusual thing about today is that we had quite a strong northerly tailwind, which I don’t recall happening here very often.”
He added: “All horses have returned to the stables. It’s been a great day - the quality has been awesome.”