Thursday 23 March 2017

Cork thaw will put jumps return back on the cards

A continuing thaw that is expected to remove the frost from the ground in Cork could ward off another blank weekend for National Hunt racing here, following the twin postponements yesterday of the Fairyhouse and Navan cards due to snow blanketing the Meath courses, WRITES DAMIEN McELROY.

With no snow lying on the Mallow track, officials there are increasingly optimistic that Sunday's programme, featuring the O'Connell Group Hilly Way Chase at Grade Two level, will mark a welcome resumption of jumps fare for the first time since Thurles on November 25.

Fresh ground will be available for both the hurdle and 'chase events during a seven-race session that is likely now to see Golden Silver bid to repeat last year's Hilly Way success and precedes Monday's fixture there for which there is free admission.

Horse Racing Ireland are determined, however, not to forfeit any of the cancelled meetings and have once more slotted Fairyhouse's seemingly jinxed card for tomorrow into the equation for next Wednesday, thus moving Clonmel on by 24 hours.

Punchestown hope to stage the Durkan Memorial Chase next Tuesday with Navan now set for both the following Saturday -- to which the Grade One Novice Hurdle has been transferred -- and Sunday, thus teeing up a hectic schedule of nine meetings in a mere eight days.

The Arctic weather, however, hasn't prevented the reported theft of no less than 25 Easyfix hurdles from Tramore racecourse sometime since Tuesday last and anyone with information is asked to telephone 051-381425.

Irish Independent

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