RACING on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival could start on good to soft going as the ground continues to dry out with little rain forecast for the week.
Clerk of the course Simon Claisse described the going as good to soft, soft in places on Monday afternoon - but would not be surprised if conditions had dried out further by the first race on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT).
"We may get a bit more cloud on a couple of days, pleasant temperatures 9C or 10C, not overly warm and a bit of a breeze," Claisse said.
"I'd be very surprised if we had to water.
"I hope we'd get through the four days on really decent ground."
Bookmakers are bracing for a repeat of last year's opening day when champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins claimed four feature races.
"We fear Willie Mullins. He has an incredible chance of getting up the four-timer," a William Hill spokesman said.
"It could be a catastrophic first day for bookmakers."