Cheltenham Festival 2019: Wednesday's racing to go ahead after inspection

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport at Cheltenham
Man loses his umbrella in the wind
Racegoers battled the wind and heavy rain on the Festival's opening day on Tuesday

The second day of the Cheltenham Festival is set to go ahead as planned after an early course inspection.

There were fears that predicted gusts of up to 50mph could prove dangerous because of the track's temporary stands.

But the course passed a preliminary inspection at 06:00 GMT on Wednesday, two hours earlier than expected.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: "The prospect of higher wind speeds and gusts have receded."

At the 2008 festival, Wednesday racing was called off because of high winds, with races rescheduled to bumper cards on the Thursday and Friday.


What can we expect on Wednesday?

The highlight of Wednesday's card is due to be Altior's attempt to make it back-to-back wins in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Nicky Henderson's star is aiming to win at the festival for the fourth year running after victory in the Supreme in 2016 and the Arkle in 2017.

Success would take his tally to 18 in a row, matching the record for successive wins over jumps set by Big Buck's but Henderson has warned that he is not a fan of soft ground.

Nicky Henderson and Altior
Altior is set to go off as odds-on favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase

Also on Wednesday, last year's Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll, trained by Elliott, will be aiming to win the Cross-Country Chase at the Festival for the second year in a row.

Victory would see the nine-year-old, who is due to run at Aintree again in next month's showpiece, claim a fourth win at the meeting.

He will be partnered by Keith Donoghue, who was unable to do the weight in the Grand National and was replaced by Davy Russell, but reclaims the ride this week.

Wednesday's racecard

13:30 - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Race 2m 5f

14:10 - RSA Insurance Novices' Steeple Chase 3m 80y

14:50 - Coral Cup Hurdle (handicap hurdle) 2m 5f

15:30 - Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase 1m 7f 99y

16:10 - Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y

16:50 - Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race 2m 87y

17:30 - Weatherbys Champion Bumper 2m 87y

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