Dundalk gets Monday fixture
With Flat trainers becoming frustrated at not being able to run many of their horses on the current rain-sodden ground, Horse Racing Ireland yesterday announced that an additional fixture will be held on the all-weather at Dundalk on Monday afternoon.
Although last Friday's jumps card at Wexford was successfully rescheduled on Wednesday, Fairyhouse's Flat programme from the previous Wednesday fell to the elements on Tuesday. The featured Brownstown Stakes was switched to Naas but, with doubts over more meetings in the days ahead, HRI opted to use the Louth track.
While Cork and Downpatrick are not believed to be in any immediate difficulty today, the ground at Tipperary ahead of tomorrow's Flat card is heavy -- the situation was being monitored. Fairyhouse is also due to race again on Sunday, and there were unconfirmed suggestions yesterday that a replacement fixture might also take place at Dundalk on Tuesday should that fall.
Killarney is officially soft to heavy following 15mm of overnight rain ahead of its four-day July festival, which is due to get under way on Monday.
Chepstow have also announced an 8.0 inspection to see if today's card can go ahead, while officials will also look at Perth at the same time this morning ahead of Sunday's scheduled fixture.
Although there are showers forecast for Newmarket as well, no problems are expected there. David Marnane's Wokingham hero Dandy Boy is one of three Irish horses declared for tomorrow's July Cup at the Suffolk venue. He is joined in the 15-runner Group One by two three-year-olds, Aidan O'Brien's Reply and David Wachman's Fire Lily.
O'Brien could be about to saddle his first National Hunt runner in a number of years after entering Brave Hearted in a bumper at Killarney on Monday.
While famed for training some of the world's greatest Flat horses, O'Brien is no stranger to the jumping game, with three-time Champion Hurdle hero Istabraq his most talented jumper.
Brave Hearted carries the colours of the trainer's wife Anne-Marie, and is sure to attract plenty of attention if he does line up at Killarney.
Michael Stoute, meanwhile, is considering a tilt at the Summer Mile at Ascot on Saturday week with his high-class middle-distance performer Carlton House.