Bleak forecast hangs over hopes of racing at Navan and Thurles

Saturday’s Navan card subject to an 8am inspection due to threat of overnight frost

Saturday’s Navan fixture will have to pass an 8am morning inspection due to the threat of overnight frost. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Saturday’s Navan fixture will have to pass an 8am morning inspection due to the threat of overnight frost. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

There appears to be a bleak weather outlook for weekend racing action in Ireland.

Saturday’s Navan fixture will have to pass an 8am morning inspection due to the threat of overnight frost. Worryingly, parts of the track were frozen on Friday making it unfit for racing.

The situation may emerge as pressing for the chances of Thurles hosting its biggest fixture of the year on Sunday.

A general forecast for snow – with accumulations in many areas – sweeping the country on Saturday night means the situation at the Tipperary track is already being monitored. Overnight temperatures are also expected to dip below freezing.

Thurles is due to host a pair of Grade Two contests including an appearance by the Grade One winner Colreevy in the Coolmore Sires Novice Chase.

Paul Townend will be keeping fingers crossed he can also team up with Allaho in the Horse & Jockey Chase as well as Envoi Allen’s brother, Fighter Allen, in a novice hurdle.

The champion jockey is due to return to action at Navan after aggravating an old shoulder injury last weekend.

The featured €40,000 handicap hurdle is also due to see the Irish debut of the 2019 US Eclipse Award winner Winston C.

Entered in both the Irish and English Champion Hurdles, the dual US Grade One winner has been handed a mark of 140 for the race where he will be ridden by amateur John O’Neill.

“Navan is not necessarily his track but he needs to start off somewhere. After this he will run at Leopardstown and that will be more his track,” said his trainer Keri Brion on Friday.

“As for Cheltenham we will have to see what the owners want to do. If he runs well in the Irish Champion Hurdle though, I don’t think we will do anything else other than go to Cheltenham,” she added.

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