Cheltenham Festival 2023 weather forecast, going and ground conditions for Gold Cup Friday races

The rain has been falling...

Delta Work wins the Cross Country Chase


It’s fair to say the weather’s been as tricky to forecast as picking the winner of the Grand National.

This season’s National Hunt calendar has been hampered by freezing conditions on both sides of the Irish Sea, while a lack of rain during the winter months has meant quicker ground than normal.

Cheltenham clerk of the course Jon Pullin described the conditions as a “challenge” and his team started watering for the Cheltenham Festival last month.

Some long-term forecasts suggested the dry weather would continue up to and including the four-day fiesta, but some welcome rain has begun to fall in the UK.

If you’re planning to have a punt on any of today’s races at the Cheltenham Festival, it’s only sensible to do plenty of research. You never know, a bit of extra cut in the ground could ruin your punt…

We’re helpful folks here at Paddy Power News so we’ve done a spot of amateur meteorology to bring you the latest weather forecast as well as the official going at Cheltenham Racecourse, which you’ll find below.

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Cheltenham Going

The action switches from the Old Course to the New Course for the second half of the Cheltenham Festival. The latest inspection on Friday, March 17 has the official going as Soft, Good to Soft (in places) on the New Course.

Cheltenham Weather Forecast

The rain has eased off for the second half of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, with just 2.5mm falling in the last 24 hours. A dry morning is set to give way to the occasional shower in the afternoon while temperatures could rise to 14 degrees celsius.

Cheltenham Racecard

The following seven races take place at Cheltenham on Friday, March 17:

1:30: Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)
2:10: County Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap)
2:50: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
3:30: Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1)
4:10: St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase
4:50: Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2)
5:30: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Cheltenham Tips

Paddy Power News is the home of top tips and best bets for the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. Our superstar stable of pundits includes Ruby Walsh, the most successful jockey in the history of the Cheltenham Festival. We’ve also got exclusive columns from the likes of ITV Racing expert Matt Chapman, former jockey Mick Fitzgerald and shrewd tipster Rory Delargy.

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