Monday 20 November 2017

Racing In brief: Thurles forced to cancel chases

Thurles have cancelled the three steeplechase races from their final jumps meeting of the season on March 25 because of the state of the track.

The fixture will now be made up of hurdle and bumper races. It is their last card until October.

"The steeplechase course is in bad shape after the winter. There is hardly a blade of grass on it and will be unfit for racing until they get a bit of growth," said Irish Turf Club spokesman Cliff Noone.

"It is not going to improve in the short term. They are not going to take a chance. They are going to leave it alone and let it grow, so that when they come back in the autumn hopefully it is in better shape."

Cawley gets green light for return

Alain Cawley has been given the all-clear to return to action after breaking his collarbone in a fall at Fairyhouse last month.

The Galway jockey sustained the injury when Dapper Dan was brought down in a maiden hurdle on February 20.

"I'm hoping to be back riding on Sunday," he said. "I saw a specialist and he told me I could return to action. I'll be riding out starting (this) morning."

Cawley aims to be 100pc race-fit again in time for the Cheltenham Festival, where his rides include Shinrock Paddy in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, Noble Prince (County Hurdle) and Chicago Grey (Coral Cup).

"All being well I'll be at Cheltenham next week. If it all goes to plan I'll be there," he added.

New sponsor deal for Punchestown is the new title sponsor of the opening day of the 2010 Punchestown Festival.

The deal will see Boylesports take sponsorship of the the Champion Chase on Tuesday, April 20.

The newly titled Champion Chase has been won by Paul Nicholls-trained horses for the last two years and welcoming the announcement, the champion trainer said: "We have been lucky enough to have the last two winners of the Champion Chase at Punchestown.

"It is a great race to win and we are delighted to see taking over the title sponsorship.

"We intend on making it a hat-trick this year when we send over either Master Minded or Twist Magic."

Irish Independent

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