Saturday evening meets expand


Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) confirmed yesterday there will be two more of the contentious Saturday evening fixtures in 2005.

Ten Saturday evening meetings were announced at the unveiling of next year's race programme, which totals 313 fixtures. That is eight more than this year.

When the first Saturday evening fixtures were introduced it was proposed that the following Sundays would be left free, but that is not the case for 2005. On seven of the nine dates there will be two meetings on the following day.

The Fairyhouse Easter festival will be run earlier than usual, from March 27th-29th. That will allow a four-week gap to the four-day Punchestown festival .

That flat season will begin at the Curragh on March 20th and end on November 6th.