With just two weeks to go before the 2011 Cheltenham Festival begins clerk of the course Simon Claisse has issued an update on the state of the ground . The Festival meeting gets underway on Tuesday 15th March and runs for four days with the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the Friday the traditional highlight . The Cheltenham Festival is unquestionably the highlight of the NH season for all racing fans and one of the great sporting events of the year . Racing last took place at Cheltenham at the end of January and Claisse yesterday confirmed "We're exactly where we want to be in our preparation of the course." Good to soft ground is generally considered the ideal surface for NH horses to run on . Claisse said he expected a dry week this week and that 30mm of rain had fallen at the track since the last meeting . The ground has been officially declared as good to soft on the first day of the meeting at the last four Festival meetings . The course has now sold out of tickets in the Best Mate Enclosure for Cheltenham Gold Cup day and apparently there are relatively few tickets available now for the tattersalls . Racegoers are advised to purchase their tickets in advance in order to guarantee admittance on the day . This year marks the centenary of racing at the Cheltenham Festival and the meeting was originally held at the track in something approaching it's current format on March 8th/9th 1911. The meeting has a complicated history and can be dated back to 1860 but 1911 was the year from which it found a permanent home at Cheltenham . In recognition of the importance of the day the first day of this year's Festival is Centenary Day and it cannot come soon enough for racing enthusiasts and bookmakers alike .