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Cross Country Course Changes For Cheltenham Festival

Thursday 4th December 2008

After the Paddy Power meeting where Davy Russell got one over on his colleagues and won the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase today Cheltenham announced changes to their course. In future there will be an additional marker on its Cross Country Course to ensure that there is no confusion among racegoers and television viewers as to whether a horse has taken the correct route around the course. This move follows Davy Russell taking a �legal� shortcut, but one which did not follow the normal racing line, when winning at The Cheltenham FestivalOpen on Dix Villez.

The bushes which currently mark the natural racing line are not recognised as official course markers by the BHA, but as a result of the recent incident on the Cross Country course, Cheltenham and the BHA Inspectorate have agreed that an additional 'C' marker and running rail will be positioned on the course at the point where Davy Russell cut the corner. This will mean that a repeat of that manoeuvre in the future will result in disqualification of the horse concerned. �C� markers are the officially designated method of directing jockeys around steeplechase courses and must always be kept on a jockey�s inside around a turn.

Cheltenham�s Director of Racing and Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse, said: �Our priorities are, of course, the safety of horses and riders but also our racegoers and the viewing public. The use of this extra �C� marker and running rail will ensure that the confusion caused by Davy Russell�s route at our last meeting will not occur again.�

The next Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase takes place on Friday, December 12, at the Boylesports International Meeting.

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