All hands on deck at Fairyhouse ahead of the €1.55m Irish Grand National festival
Storm Ophelia, Storm Emma and recent heavy snowfalls have been a real headache for Peter Roe in recent months.
As general manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse he keeps a very close eye on the weather forecast but most especially at this time of year as the Easter Racing Festival fast approaches.
With snow still on the ground and further rain forecast for early next week, the Tipperary native says it will be all hands on deck now to ensure the track is in peak condition ahead of what will be an exciting three days of racing between April 1-3.
Boasting a prize-fund of €1.55 million, the highlight of the Festival will undoubtedly be the Boylesports Irish Grand National on Easter Monday. Won last year by the Irish-trained Our Duke, the 2018 renewal is expected to attract another stellar line-up, with the hope also of some high-class overseas rivals making the trip.
“If you consider the year we’ve had with all the storms and snow falls, it has been particularly tough on racing in Ireland,” Mr Roe said.
In recent months some of the other planned race meetings at the Co Meath track had to be postponed or re-scheduled due to bad weather, and Mr Roe strongly hopes that the Easter Festival can survive the next few days.
“There was still snow on the track up to the middle of last week, and we’re expecting more rain again this week but hopefully it won’t be significant to affect the ground which is currently heavy.”
Storm Ophelia was one of the first to disrupt the 2017/2018 National Hunt season at the track.