Cheltenham hopeful racing will go ahead

IT’S been one of the toughest National Hunt seasons in recent years as trainers struggle to cope with the winter snow on the back of a wet autumn.

Although race meetings are being cancelled up and down the country, the day to day work must go on to keep horses fit and ready to run, if and when the weather improves.

Looking ahead to the weekend, the big meeting at Cheltenham – Festival Trials Day – is the last fixture at Prestbury Park before March.

The card includes the Grade One Victor Chandler Chase, which was transferred to Cheltenham following the abandonment of Ascot’s fixture last weekend.

After the removal of the frost covers on Tuesday, there is increased hope that the meeting can go ahead as scheduled on Saturday. But, in the event that the course is unraceable, Cheltenham has reached agreement with the British Horseracing Authority that, weather permitting, it could instead be staged 24 hours later on Sunday.

On the track – albeit the all-weather – Edgcote trainer Ben Case was delighted to see Un Ace land the spoil on his debut at Lingfield on Saturday.

The five-year-old won the Collier’s Wood Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race in the hands of Killian Moore.

More racing in this week’s Banbury Guardian.