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Increased crowd and Cheltenham stewards' report

Saturday's crowd at The November Meeting at Cheltenham came to 33,591, compared to 32,721 in 2018 - an increase of just over 2.5 per cent.
 
Ian Renton, Regional Director, Cheltenham & The South West, said: "I would like to pay tribute to all the ground staff here at Cheltenham, who have all worked so hard under challenging conditions this week. While it was unfortunate to have to abandon Countryside Day yesterday, we have all enjoyed an excellent eight-race programme today. 
 
"It is very gratifying to see a bumper crowd here at Cheltenham today, enjoying some thrilling action on the track. We now look forward to Family Fun Day tomorrow, featuring the Unibet Greatwood Hurdle."
 
After racing Cheltenham's Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse, said: "We've been delighted with the way the course has ridden, and what really shows how happy the horsemen were is that we had a full field in the bumper, the last race of the day. 
 
"We were liaising with jockeys throughout the day about conditions, as well as keeping an eye on everything, in particular coming down the Old Hill where the chases and hurdle races were sharing the track. 
 
"Everyone was really happy with it, so I am leaving the going as Soft, Heavy in places for racing tomorrow. 
 
"The forecast is mostly dry - there may be the odd shower.
 
"We're currently out there moving all of the hurdle rail - that will be stepped out two yards. We'll take a view in the morning about whether we will be moving any hurdles or any chase lines."

STEWARDS' REPORTS
 
Race 1 - 12:05pm G2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle - Henry de Bromhead was fined £140 as the record of vaccinations in the passport of DANCING ON MY OWN (IRE) did not comply with the Rules of Racing. The performance of I K BRUNEL, which finished eighth, was considered. Olly Murphy's explanation that the gelding was unsuited by the going, which was officially described as Soft, Heavy in places on this occasion, and would prefer a quicker surface was noted. I K BRUNEL was routine tested. Following the race, Paddy Brennan reported that CHAMPAGNE WELL (IRE), placed second, stumbled approaching the second last hurdle.
 
Race 2 - 12:40pm G2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle - The performance of MICK PASTOR (FR), which started favourite and finished sixth, was considered. Paul Nicholls' explanation that on the Soft, Heavy in places going the gelding choked was noted. Following the race, the Veterinary Officer reported that the winner, ALLMANKIND, lost its left fore shoe.
 
Race 3 - 1:15pm mallardjewellers.com Novices' Chase - Following the race, David Bass reported that MINELLA WARRIOR (IRE), which was pulled up, was never travelling and jumped poorly and Kim Bailey reported that the gelding was unsuited by the going, which was officially described as Soft, Heavy in places on this occasion, and would prefer a quicker surface.
 
Race 4 - 1:50pm G3 BetVictor Smartcards Handicap Chase - RAMSES DE TEILLEE (FR) wore ear plugs. Following the race, the Veterinary Officer reported that ACHILLE (FR), placed second, was lame on its left fore.
 
Race 5 - 2:25pm G3 BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase - SPRINGTOWN LAKE (IRE) wore ear plugs which were removed at the start. Barry Geraghty, the rider of BRELAN D'AS (FR), placed second, was suspended for 2 days for using his whip above the permitted level from approaching the final fence. The performance of SPIRITOFTHEGAMES (IRE), which was pulled up, was considered. Dan Skelton could offer no explanation for the gelding's performance. SPIRITOFTHEGAMES (IRE) was routine tested. Following the race, Lizzie Kelly reported that SIRUH DU LAC (FR), which was pulled up, was never travelling. Richard Johnson reported that SPRINGTOWN LAKE (IRE), which was pulled up, was never travelling and Philip Hobbs reported that the gelding jumped poorly. The Veterinary Officer reported that US AND THEM (IRE), placed seventh, lost its right hind shoe and COUNT MERIBEL, placed sixth, lost its left fore shoe.
 
Race 6 - 3:00pm Listed Spinal Injuries Association Big Buck's Handicap Hurdle - TOBEFAIR wore ear plugs which were removed at the start. The winner, GOLAN FORTUNE (IRE), appeared to show improved form compared with its previous run at Cheltenham on 25 October 2019 where the gelding finished fourteenth of seventeen, beaten by 19 ½ lengths. Phil Middleton's explanation that the gelding had been off for over a year prior to its previous run and appreciated the Soft, Heavy in places going today was noted. GOLAN FORTUNE (IRE) was routine tested.
 
Race 7 - 3:30pm BetVictor Intermediate Handicap Hurdle - Permission was given for JACAMAR (GER) to wear a hood in the Parade Ring and for CONRON (IRE) to be mounted on the chute.
 
Race 8 - 4:00pm Listed Karndean Designflooring Mares' Standard Open NHF Race - URBAN ARTIST, trained by Hughie Morrison was late in the Parade Ring, due to receiving the saddle late and the filly then being difficult to saddle. Following the race, Anthony Honeyball reported that MIDNIGHT CALLISTO, unplaced, was unsuited by the going, which was officially described as Soft, Heavy in places on this occasion, and would prefer a quicker surface.
 
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