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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Eleven entries for VC ChaseHeadlines
Sprinter Sacre

The reopened Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday has attracted 11 entries, including Nicky Henderson's exciting Arkle winner Sprinter Sacre.

The race has been transferred from last Saturday's abandoned Ascot meeting to be added to the prestigious Festival Trials Day card, but the fixture is still in the balance.

Other entries include Sanctuaire, Wishfull Thinking, last year's winner Somersby, Shooters Wood, Kumbeshwar, William's Wishes and Mad Moose, along with Kinkeel, Oiseau De Nuit and Esteem, who was last seen finishing third in a claimer at Wolverhampton.

Cheltenham officials are still hopeful the card will go ahead, but are praying the forecast snow for Tuesday night is light.

A slight thaw on Monday enabled clerk of the course Simon Claisse to do some early preparatory work, but much more needs to be done and he expects to be in a better position to assess the situation on Wednesday morning. Any contingency plans to save the fixture will then be discussed if necessary.

Claisse said: "We remain hopeful and are crossing everything. We had a little bit of a thaw yesterday, which enabled us to get a little lightweight tractor on the covers with a brush, to brush the remaining snow off. That is good news.

"We are still forecast one to two centimetres of snow tonight. We will cope with the lower end, we may have a big challenge if we get the other end because there aren't any real positive signs of thawing temperatures until Saturday.

"The crucial time for us is the next 24 hours as to what might further come out of the sky.

"We've been in discussion with the authorities and Jockey Club Racecourses since Friday, but we've always said in terms of timings and decisions, we need to get through the next snow event, which is forecast for tonight. Then we will be in a better position to see what our prospects are."

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