Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 March 2018

Prospects continue to look bleak for jumping

Jump racing in Ireland is continuing to suffer from the weather, with prospects looking bleak for the rest of the week and doubts over Saturday's rescheduled Fairyhouse fixture and at Navan on Sunday.

Snow continues to lie on most tracks, with Gowran's meeting on Friday in serious doubt and the Irish Turf Club's press officer Cliff Noone reported: "Navan is unfit for racing at the moment, as is Fairyhouse and Gowran, so it's not a great picture at the moment.

"Val O'Connell (the senior inspector of courses) is going to take a look at Gowran tomorrow morning, so we should know more then."

The Arctic conditions forced the abandonment of yesterday's all-weather card at Southwell due to freezing fog. Although the course managed to stage the opening races over sprint distances, course officials and jockeys were in agreement that conditions were not safe to continue.

Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said: "The jockeys just can't see as their goggles are steaming up and freezing during the races. It's still minus-eight here.

"They got through the sprints using three pairs of goggles each, but the consensus of opinion is that they can't see well enough to ride the bends.

"The first race, over six furlongs, was very difficult and the jockeys expressed concerns after that."

Irish Independent

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