CHEPSTOW had to abandon their second meeting in a row on Monday and hopes now rest on Ffos Las on Friday to give Welsh trainers a chance to end a quiet spell for them.

Of the local flat trainers, Ron Harris hasn’t had a runner for a fortnight and David Evans has been winnerless for a similar period, though his Lady Reset was a fast-finishing second in a claimer after 280 days off the track. She won twice at Chepstow last May and should resume winning ways before long.

Last Wednesday Brophies Doll did well to finish third of 16 at 25/1 for Robert Stephens in her handicap debut in a two mile mares-only race. It was her best effort since joining the yard a year ago. She might be seen to better effect over further, having won an Irish point in November 2018. Stablemate Tudors Treasure was one of the favourites on Tuesday for a steeplechase at Exeter, on a course and distance that he’d won over twice before.

The odds on Cheltenham being cancelled or postponed because of coronavirus have fluctuated wildly lately. If it was going to be postponed, one imagines a decision ought to be taken before the end of this week. Alternatively, we could take a leaf from the French, who have banned gatherings of more than 5,000 people. Though few race meetings there attract crowds of that size, they are taking place behind closed doors. Imagine a Cheltenham Festival fixture with no racegoers!

At last there are signs that drier – or less wet – weather is on the way, and it’s not impossible that the word “good” could appear in the Cheltenham going description if it goes ahead next week. A couple of Gold Cup contenders wouldn’t mind that at all.

Paul Nicholls said: “Clan Des Obeaux is obviously a dual King George winner and looks absolutely fantastic in his coat.

"He was one of eight horses we took to Wincanton for a gallop. He did a proper workout with Frodon over two miles. He has had a great preparation.

"He is very effective when he is very fit and very fresh - I think he is lethal on those terms. I think he is my best chance of the week.”

Better going will help in view of his stamina being unproven over the extended three and a quarter miles. The market rates his chance at 7/1.

Lostintranslation is something of a forgotten horse. Earlier in the campaign he recorded a decisive success in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, but has not been seen out since pulling up in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.

Speaking of that poor run, trainer’s son Joe Tizzard said on Monday: “I can't say that we actually found a specific reason for it, but we have tweaked his wind and he has had a soft-palate operation since. I think perhaps he had a harder race at Haydock than we thought - it was only three and a bit weeks before Kempton and perhaps it left its toll on him a little bit. We are really happy with where he is now. Although he is a big horse, he wouldn't mind it drying out as the week went on.” He’s a general 13/2 shot.

You can watch all of Gold Cup afternoon (Friday 13th) from the comfortable surroundings of the Chepstow Racecourse restaurant. Enjoy a three-course lunch with the action from the final day of the Festival on TV. For £45 that’s much better value than going to Cheltenham itself.

Assuming dryness actually prevails, Chepstow’s next race meeting will be on Thursday, 19th March.