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Festival gets the green light

DAY THREE of the Punchestown Festival was given the green light after an inspection at 8am this morning and today's fixture goes, albeit without the two scheduled chases.

Yesterday's meeting was reduced to a five-race card with the chases falling foul of the weather and today has produced a similar scenario.

The Ryanair Novice Chase and the Handicap Chase have been dropped, but despite persistent rain, the hurdle course was deemed raceable and the first of five races gets underway at 4.50.

The prestigious La Touche, run over 4m,1f on the Cross Country course, was also passed and it will now be the second race on the card at 5.30.

Willie Mullins sent out four of the five winners yesterday and he felt that it was fine for racing.

The champion trainer said; "It's grand out there. They are galloping through it and both Ruby and Patrick didn't see anything wrong with it."

Top amateur rider and Evening Herald columnist Katie Walsh added: "It is not gluey ground it's loose due to the water on the track and that makes it easier to get through.

"It just goes to show what a fantastic job was done by all at Punchestown to get this to go ahead."


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