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Opening day at the races

Opening day of The Festival Credit: PA:David Davies

Cheltenham Festival goers will get the first look of a new Prestbury Park today for the first day of the races.

Over the last 12 months the racecourse has been undergoing a £45 million redevelopment - with work still ongoing.

I walked the course yesterday. It's probably dried out a little bit but it's still good to soft, good in places on the Chase and Hurdle courses

The rain that we were forecast, although only light rain, as of yesterday hasn't materialised so we've not actually had any rainfall here for over a week.

The course is in pretty good nick compared to previous years but we're not quite where we were last year as we didn't have a winter last year.

– Simon Claisse, Cheltenham's Clerk of the Course

Somerset trainer will mark his 30th Cheltenham Festival this week

Philip Hobbs will be marking his 30th Cheltenham Festival this week Credit: ITV News

Somerset trainer Philip Hobbs will be marking his 30th Cheltenham festival, this week.

The Minehead-based trainer is second in the rankings and a good showing at Cheltenham would do him proud - but winners are not easy to come by.

Philip has had 18 winners at the Festival over the years, including Balthazar King, and Rooster Booster.

The trainer has already had the best season yet this year, with £1 million in prize money achieved just after Christmas.

Well Cheltenham is the flagship event really, it is the one where we most want to have winners. We have lots of each way chances, I can't think we're going to have one that's going to start favourite, but we'll probably end up with the usual 15 or 16 runners. I'd settle for one winner there.

– Philip Hobbs


Runaway horse collides with tv camera at Cheltenham

Jockey Daryl Jacobs has been injured in a dramatic incident at the Cheltenham Fesitval.

Somerset trainer Paul Nicholl's horse appeared to be spooked by something as he was cantering to the start for the 2.40 race. The horse went through the rails and jockey Jacobs was thrown from the saddle and into a TV camera.

Initial reports suggest that Jacobs has injured his shoulder and leg. He is currently having medical treatment.

Ruby Walsh injured and out of the Gold Cup

Ruby Walsh holds his arm after his fall today Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Cheltenham Festival's most successful jockey Ruby Walsh has suffered a bad fall and suspected fractured wrist in the day's first race.

The Irish jockey has been taken to hospital for X-rays and will now be unable to ride another race, including his mount in the Gold Cup.


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