Fairyhouse confident of Winter Festival card


RACING:Despite recent deluges, the Fairyhouse authorities are heading towards this weekend’s “Winter Festival” confident that for once their prestige fixture will escape the worst of the weather.

Plagued by cancellations and postponements in recent years, Sunday’s triple Grade One card featuring the Bar One Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, looks like getting off the mark.

“I’m almost afraid to say it but the outlook looks ideal for this time of year . . . everything looks good,” said Fairyhouse manager Peter Roe yesterday after a weekend that had 25mm of rainfall.

The outlook will be good news for Dermot Weld who is considering the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle for his star youngster Waaheb.

Weld was in California yesterday after his Group One mare Emulous finished out of the money in Sunday night’s Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park. But his son Mark was anxiously looking at the skies with Waaheb in mind.

“What he doesn’t want is extremes of ground so hopefully things improve . . . The Curragh is under a lot of water,” said Weld said. “If things improve there is every possibility Waaheb will run at Fairyhouse. But he has other options at Christmas.”

There is a confirmation stage for Fairyhouse today where a more definitive shape will emerge.

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