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April Meeting: Simon Claisse happy with race entries for Cheltenham Racecourse

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: April 14, 2014

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Director of racing Simon Claisse said he was happy with the quality of the early entries for the 14 races at the April Meeting.

The two-day fixture, which starts on Wednesday, features seven races each day with the first race due off at 2.05pm.

The meeting – the final one at the course this season for professional jockeys – is relatively low key compared with the Festival but is still expected to attract top owners, trainers and riders.

Among the leading trainers expected to have runners are Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Jonjo O’Neill and Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Claisse said: “The entries look strong and I’m pleased with them.

“It’s the last chance for professional jockeys to ride here, as the season draws to a close for them.

“But we’ve got two valuable cards and expect to have some very decent racing but perhaps without the frenetic pace we have off the track that we’re used to in March.”

The development of the new grandstand is under way with the aim of it being ready in time for the 2016 Festival.

It means the area around the Tote terrace – the annual members’ bar at the Festival – will be cordoned off and the Lawn Bar will not be available for owners and trainers.

Other facilities will be provided and information about them will be included in the racecard.

The area around Hurdler’s Hall, the See You Then Bar and the Betfred betting shop at the top of the paddock will also be closed to the public.

There will be catering outlets and bookmaker pitches in front of these areas to replace the facilities.

Claisse said: “Work started last week on the Tote Terrace and they’ve made excellent progress with that.

“There will be no work going on during the two days of racing, but there will be some hoardings that racegoers will be directed around.”

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