Gusting winds put Monday's Punchestown meeting in doubt
If meeting is cancelled the option of running it on Wednesday is under consideration
Punchestown Racecourse, Co Kildare: Gusting winds of up to 90kph are forecast for the area for much of the time the Monday card is scheduled to run. The first race is due off at 12.45pm. Photograph: Inpho
Punchestown officials have conceded the outlook for racing going ahead there on Monday doesn’t look good. A 7.45am inspection is planned at the Co Kildare track which is under a Status Orange weather warning on Monday.
If the meeting is cancelled the option of running it on Wednesday instead is being looked at.
Gusting winds of up to 90kph are forecast for the area for much of the time the Monday card is scheduled to run. The first race is due off at 12.45pm.
“From 11.00 to 3.00 is the rough part. They’re talking 60 to 90kph gusts. We will look at it in the morning, speak to Met Eireann again and we’ll go on their advice,” Punchestown’s clerk of the course Brendan Sheridan said on Sunday. “If it’s as bad as they’re saying today, at this stage, with what we’re being told, it doesn’t look great because of the wind,” he added.
The prospect of Storm Brendan sweeping across Ireland and Britain also means Lingfield will host an 8am Monday morning inspection.
Should racing at Punchestown get the green light it will be interesting to see what a first-time hood does for the chances of Dreamingandhoping in the bumper. Declan Queally’s mare belied 66-1 odds on her Navan debut when runner-up to Bigbadandbeautiful so was subsequently a hot favourite at Limerick over Christmas. She spoiled her chance by running too free however, and had to settle for third behind Tuccanae. Should headgear have the desired effect Dreamingandhoping can prove hard to beat.
The application of first-time blinkers could also prove important to The Reaping Race in a three mile handicap hurdle.
In other news, the in-form claiming jockey Trevor Ryan had his eighth winner since November when Chavi Artist landed Sunday’s Opportunity Handicap Chase at Punchestown. It was Ryan’s first winner for trainer Tom Mullins who has been impressed by a rider who had contemplated retirement at the end of last season due to a lack of opportunities. “He’s a grand lad. He’s hungry and appears to be a sensible fella. By chance I got him to ride one or two a few weeks ago. He got brought down at Leopardstown and I said I’d give him another chance today,” Mullins said.
Earlier Jockey Luke McGuinness got a three-day suspension for his use of the whip on Final List, runner up to Rocky’s Silver in the handicap chase.