Naas racecourse schedules 7.30am morning inspection

Overnight snow could mean track joins Newbury and Warwick, both cancelled on Friday

Thurles Racecourse in Co Tipperary on Thursday. Naas is waiting to see if snow will fall before deciding on a Saturday card. File photograph: Caroline Norris/Inpho

Thurles Racecourse in Co Tipperary on Thursday. Naas is waiting to see if snow will fall before deciding on a Saturday card. File photograph: Caroline Norris/Inpho

 

The outlook for jump racing in Ireland on Saturday depends on Naas surviving a 7.30am morning inspection.

The possibility of overnight snow could mean the track joins Newbury and Warwick which were cancelled on Friday due to the cold snap.

It leaves two scheduled all-weather flat fixtures in Britain on Saturday after Chelmsford had to cancel on Friday. Lingfield will inspect at 8am, shortly after Naas officials have had a look.

Met Éireann are telling us there will be snow on the ground and a lot of apps are saying there won’t be so we’ll have to wait and see. We were told we were going to have snow on the ground this morning and we don’t so we’re raceable,” said Naas manager Eamonn McEvoy on Friday.

Yr (meteorological site) says we might be getting a lot of heavy sleet and you’d get away with that for a few hours. There isn’t a flake of snow here now but it can happen quick so we’ll wait and see,” he added.

No problems are anticipated for Sunday’s Grand National Trial programme at Punchestown where for once a lucrative feature event will take place without a single Willie Mullins runner.

Half of the champion trainer’s four declarations for Naas though are in the featured Listed BBA Opera Hat Chase.

Elimay heads many betting lists for the inaugural mares chase at next month’s Cheltenham festival and can hardly be said to have been given a comfortable looking prep race.

The grey is 5lbs wrong on ratings with former Cheltenham winner Shattered Love and has to concede 12lbs to her own stable companion Yukon Lil. Elimay and Yukon Lil ran behind another Mullins star, Colreevy, at Thurles last month where Yukon Lil jumped poorly and was pulled up by Danny Mullins.

Grand National Trial

Paul Townend is back on board now and although it is a big if should Yukon Lil get her jumping together she could have a big enough engine to make the weight concession count.

The last two winners of the novice hurdle at Naas (Aramax and Band Of Outlaws) went on to land the Boodles at Cheltenham.

The latter’s stable companion, Druids’s Altar, takes his chance now but Autumn Evening could edge it.

Alpha Des Obeaux tops the weight for Sunday’s €80,000 Grand National Trial but with ground conditions sure to be testing, and 3½ miles to tackle, it could pay to look at the other end of the handicap.

Stamina is the strong point of Brian McMahon’s stalwart Se Mo Laoch who has just 10st 1lb on his back. The 10-year-old returned to action over hurdles at the course in December when runner up to Unexpected Depth.

That was Se Mo Laoch’s first run since finishing out of the money in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in March. Prior to that he’d won in Navan and is only 3lbs higher in the ratings here.

Sunday’s St Valentine’s Day action will be live on TG4 as the station, which has covered the Listowel festival for the last 16 years, extends its racing coverage.

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