Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 22 September 2019

No grounds for concern at Leopardstown or Kempton

A general view of Leopardstown Racecourse. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
A general view of Leopardstown Racecourse. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Leopardstown chief executive Pat Keogh is looking forward to a "mouthwatering" four days of action, with the Racing Post Novice Chase taking centre stage on today's opening card.

The Grade One heat sees Gordon Elliott's Mengli Khan clash with the Willie Mullins-trained Voix Du Reve over two miles and a furlong, and with a handful of top-level events before the meeting concludes on Saturday, Keogh is anticipating an exciting few days.

He said: "It looks an exciting novice chase, but it looks like being a great four days overall. There's some mouthwatering racing to look forward to.

"The weather looks set fair for all four days. It's such a well-supported meeting, everybody wants to have a runner at Leopardstown over Christmas.

"The ground is good, yielding in places on the chase course and yielding on the hurdles track."

The Kempton clerk of the course Brian Clifford, meanwhile, is also anticipating an exciting couple of days at the Sunbury venue.

He said: "The King George is such a competitive race this year. You can't really say there's a real flagbearer in there, but you'd have to give every horse a chance which makes for great sport.

"We've also got Buveur D'Air to look forward to and Santini, as well as La Bague Au Roi in a really good novice chase. Then we have Altior to look forward to on Thursday. Special Tiara is also here and had a spin on Christmas Day morning.

"It's a great two days and it's all systems go."

Clifford reports the ground to be in fine order ahead of the meeting.

He added: "The ground is good to soft, good in places - probably about 50-50 and the track is in good nick. It should be great conditions."

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