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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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No imminent plans to turn on tapsHeadlines
Cheltenham action

With just under three weeks to go to the start of the Cheltenham Festival, officials are keeping a careful eye on the going at Prestbury Park.

The track was last in action for the Trials meeting at the end of January when the Cheltenham team put in a fantastic effort to protect the track from snow and frost to get the fixture on.

The ground was officially described as heavy that day but after a more settled period of weather, the going is now soft, good to soft in places.

There has already been talk of watering in some quarters, but Cheltenham communications manager Andy Clifton revealed clerk of the course Simon Claisse is no hurry to make such decisions.

"There's been no change in the going so we're still soft, good to soft in places," he said.

"We have a dry forecast for the next few days so there's every chance we could be good to soft by early next week. The long-range forecast doesn't show much rain but obviously the weather can change very quickly, as we have all seen in the last 12 months.

"The water table is still very high so any significant rain could move the ground in the other direction, but with the thick end of three weeks still to go, you could not be certain about the forecast.

"Simon and his team are out on the track every day and they will continue to do the right thing, which is what they always do.

"We wouldn't be ruling anything in or out at this stage and there is certainly no time frame on watering as everything depends on the weather. I can say there are no imminent plans to water, though, and we will see what the weather brings over the coming days."

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