POLICE are to ramp up patrols of a beauty spot that gives racing fans a perfect view of the behind-closed-doors Cheltenham Festival.
Punters will be restricted to watching the biggest week of the year from home due to Covid guidelines still in place.
Normally, more than 250,000 people flood into the ground to bet, drink and have a good time at the March meet.
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And while that is impossible this year, cops are aware some could gather on Cleeve Hill, which gives an incredible view of the track.
The hill lies one mile north of Prestbury Park and is the highest point in the Cotswolds.
Police fear groups could gather to watch the racing in person from March 16 and break coronavirus guidelines on social distancing, say the Racing Post.
Inspector Rich Smith, from the Cheltenham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Where a breach of the regulations is clear and the person breaching them is aware that they're not complying then officers will intervene and use police powers if needed.
"Officers will be patrolling a number of areas of Cheltenham, including Cleeve Hill, as part of their usual patrols to ensure that people do not begin to gather due to the event being behind closed doors."
Authorities will also be on the lookout for drone users seeking to gain an edge in betting.
Betfair estimate some £500,000 is bet in-running on each race at Cheltenham.
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Live streams on bookies' websites can lag up to one second behind the live action, while drone footage is just 0.3 seconds behind.
That can be the difference between getting a bet on and not.
It is thought that between three and six drones will be flying over Cheltenham at any one time during the week.
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