Leopardstown post-race gallops likely to be low-key

Cusack runner could succeed on Leopardstown’s final jumps card

Jockey Jody McGarvey in the 2019 National Hunt finale at Leopardstown. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Jockey Jody McGarvey in the 2019 National Hunt finale at Leopardstown. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Leopardstown’s final National Hunt fixture of the season is on Monday although its traditional post-race gallops for Cheltenham festival contenders looks like being a relatively low-key affair.

In the past, large numbers of horses used the opportunity to complete their festival preparations in front of the public after racing.

They included star names from the top yards of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, including Florida Pearl and Don Cossack.  

However, the track’s racing manager, David Attwood, said on Sunday: “At the moment I’m only of a few that are coming to work after racing on Monday. But that could change, especially with the rain that we’re getting.”

Heavy rain during Sunday’s meeting turned the going significantly softer, which may encourage some trainer to school after racing.

The most significant schooling session of the weekend came on Saturday.

Presenting Percy, favourite in many Gold Cup ante-post lists, schooled at Galway when fences on the right-handed track were turned around to allow him jump left-handed as at Cheltenham.

A total of 75 declarations have been made for Monday’s racing action at Leopardstown, and Snugsborough Hall could be an interesting contender for the novice chase.

Liam Cusack’s runner scored at Clonmel last month and should have no trouble with softer-going conditions now.

A minute’s silence was held at Leopardstown’s meeting on Sunday in memory of Willie Buckley, a member of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board’s security team, who was taken ill at Friday night’s Dundalk fixture and subsequently died.

Friday’s fixture was cancelled after two races, and Dundalk will now host a new fixture this Wednesday evening.

The six races cancelled on Friday, including the Listed Patton Stakes, will be run, while an apprentice handicap due to be held next Friday has been added to make a seven-race card.

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