Cheltenham Festival Ladies Day under threat after forecasts of 50mph winds

Cheltenham Festival Ladies Day under threat after forecasts of 50mph winds

Racegoers face an anxious wait to find out if they will be turned away from Cheltenham on Wednesday because of high winds as an 8am track inspection will rule whether Wednesday’s ­programme must be moved to ­Saturday.

Ladies Day at the Festival was at severe risk on Tuesday night after forecasts of overnight winds of up to 50 mph, which could cause havoc with the temporary structures around the site at Prestbury Park.

It is understood the Jockey Club has been discouraged from making contingency plans to fit extra races in on Thursday and Friday because of increased safety regulations around track conditions.

The Festival’s day-two programme was last postponed 11 years ago, again because of powerful gales, but organisers believed they had since built more rigid temporary structures to handle bad weather. However, on Tuesday night the Jockey Club confirmed the same fate could now befall the card, on which the highlight is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Ian Renton, regional director for the South-West region of the Jockey Club said: “Strong gusting winds are forecast for the area on Wednesday, but their precise strength and location are not possible to predict in advance.

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