Officials Consider Mid-April Dates for Cheltenham Festival

Release from Racenews
Discussions to continued to take place over the weekend with all interested parties about the re-scheduling of Cheltenham, with the aim of confirming as soon as possible the new dates for the three days. The Cheltenham Board Sunday and gave its backing to the process.

Progress has been made but there are still various issues to be determined -- the main one being what will happen to Ireland's Punchestown Festival which is scheduled from April 24 to 27.

Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham's managing director, said Sunday: "We would dearly like to re-schedule the three days in the week Punchestown currently has as this appears to be the preference of the trainers and racegoers. However, we are very aware that the decisions facing Punchestown are even more complex than those facing us, bearing in mind that racing in Ireland has yet to resume.

"Let me make this clear though -- it is out of the question that Cheltenham will race at the same time as Punchestown," Gillespie continued. "Therefore, we continue to examine all the logistical issues about racing during the week before (April 15 to 21). There is a great deal that has to be considered in this process of re-arranging the three days of Cheltenham and we want to make sure that everything is put in place before announcing the new dates."