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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Cheltenham strive to save cardHeadlines
Sprinter Sacre

Cheltenham's big Festival Trials Day on Saturday could be run 24 hours later if the meeting is abandoned.

Groundstaff have been working overtime to shift the snow which fell on top of the frost sheets, and course officials have renewed hope of the fixture going ahead, but more snow is forecast on Tuesday evening, which would once again put the meeting in doubt.

With a thaw expected some time during the weekend, Cheltenham is continuing to liaise with Channel 4 about the prospect of televising the meeting if it is rescheduled for Sunday.

A statement issued on behalf of Cheltenham read: "Cheltenham racecourse is due to stage Festival Trials Day this Saturday and, as a result of the hard work of the groundstaff in removing snow lying on the frost covers today, there is increased hope that the meeting can go ahead as scheduled on Saturday.

"However, a further one to two centimetres of snow is forecast to fall tonight and, in the event that the course is unraceable, Cheltenham has reached agreement with the BHA that, weather permitting, Festival Trials Day could instead be staged 24 hours later on Sunday, January 27.

"Cheltenham is continuing to liaise with Channel 4 as to the possibility of Festival Trials Day being broadcast on the channel on Sunday, should the eight-race card be moved to that date."

As well as the trials, the card also features the prestigious Victor Chandler Chase, which 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.

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.

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