Cheltenham Festival 2013: Day Three live updates
Keep track of all the main events and talking points from the day with our live updates below.
Excited chatter ripples around the racecourse as Pippa Middleton arrives.
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Update from our reporter at the scene:
The Cheltenham track is looking great this morning with the sun shining.
Excitement is building among a group of students from Bristol - Claire Heming, 22, Tasha Taylor, 21, Emily Fowler, 22, Ian Dickinson, 22.
Ian Dickinson said: “This is our first time at the races. We’ve got a great view of the track and we are looking forward to the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.”
Traffic update at the racecourse: offials say the south car park is now full. Drivers will be directed to an alternative.
A racecourse spokesman has estimated that there are 50,000 people at the venue today - slightly down on the 53,000 drawn in yesterday to see mane attraction Sprinter Sacre gallop to victory.
From our reporter at the scene:
Actor James Nesbitt, whose horse Riverside Theatre runs in the Ryanair Chase at 2.40, said: "horses are more highly strung than actresses."
He added: "There are very few sports where we are all here from every walk of life to celebrate the sport we love and not just the individual."
Daytime TV host Jeremy Kyle has also been spotted near the parade ring.
Football pundit Chris Kamara has been seen soaking up the atmosphere at Prestbury Park.
From our reporter on the scene at Prestbury Park:
The Irish atmosphere was welcomed to the racecourse with a fiddler on the balcony above the main gate and a leprechaun crafting inflated shamrocks for festival-goers.
Among the punters was a group of 12 from Reading in Berkshire led by 48-year-old Simon Preston who is visiting the Festival for his 10th time this year.
He said: “We have got a mixed bag of English, Irish and Scots with us today. The brandy has already been flowing this morning and we’ll be looking forward to getting stuck into the pints of Guinness later.
"We’re going to have a great day in the sunshine and I can’t wait for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle because I predict that we are going to have a new winner today.”
Colin McMann from Cardiff said: “It’s a wonderful sunny day for racing and I’m hoping to win a lot - especially on the sixth race.”
Julie Gillon from Cheltenham said: “It’s my third year here but I’m still a bit of an amateur but it’s sure to be a great day. I’m very excited.”
CROSS-COUUNTRY COURSE FAILS INSPECTION.
The cross-country course will be inspected again at 2.15pm after failing to pass an inspection at 11am.
If the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Handicap Chase cannot go ahead today, course officials plan to run it as the final race on an eight-race card tomorrow.
However the official announcer has said the main course for hurdles and chases is good, good to soft in places.
Police say there is currently disruption to traffic on Libertus Road in Cheltenham due to taxis stopping irresponsibly. Officers are on their way there to move them on.
Traffic on other routes is believed to be moving smoothly.
Police are urging motorists to get into the spirit of the day.
A Tweet said: "If you’re travelling to the Races on the A40 to Prestbury today give our police biker an extra big smile – It’s his 40th birthday today!"
Former England football captain Tony Adams is reportedly set to be heading to the races today.
Police say all routes to the racecourse are currently running smoothly as thousands people people converge on the town for the third day of the festival.
Rumours are circulating that Pippa Middleton may be attending Cheltenham races today.
After receiving seven reports of pick pockets operating at the racecourse yesterday, police are advising punters to keep their cash safe.
Superintendent Neil Mantle said: "We take reports of pick pockets on the course very seriously.
"I would ask those coming to the festival over the next couple of days to think about where they put their winnings and valuables and to make sure they keep them safe throughout the day."
Racecourse chiefs have confirmed racing will go ahead as scheduled at Prestbury Park after the course survived an early morning inspection.
The decision is subject to a further inspection at 11am.
Sub-zero overnight temperatures have left an early frost this morning meaning chiefs at Prestbury Park are due to hold a course inspection at 8am.
Results of the inspection will be published here as soon as they are released.
With Day Three of Cheltenham Festival designated as the week's honorary St Patrick's Day, racegoers will be hoping for the luck of the Irish.
Prestbury Park promises to be transformed into a sea of green as thousands of punters from the Emerald Isle make the venue home for the day.