Leopardstown and Cheltenham pass inspections

Updated: Saturday, 26 Jan 2013 09:09

This afternoon's meeting at Leopardstown goes ahead after the course passed a morning inspection.

The fantastic card at Cheltenham will also take place as scheduled after the track passed an early-morning inspection.

Officials called a precautionary check for 8am at Leopardstown due to the threat of further rain overnight and although 20 millimetres of rain did fall at the Foxrock venue, conditions remain raceable.

Leopardstown's racing and operations manager Nessa Joyce said: "The meeting is on. We had 20 millimetres of rain up to around 10pm last night and then it cleared away, which was great news for us.

"It is looking like a good day today. It's calm and mild at the moment and we're looking forward to what should be a great day's racing.

"We do still have one or two concerns about the chase track and there could be one or two alterations made."

Joyce admits officials are likely to stage a further inspection ahead of Sunday's card, featuring the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle, but the timing has not yet been discussed.

"I would imagine it's likely we will call another inspection as there is more rain forecast for tonight, but we'll try and get through as much of today as we can before we start planning for tomorrow," said Joyce.

Officials at Prestbury Park have worked tirelessly this week to ensure Festival Trials Day would beat the weather, taking the covers off the course after finding conditions raceable on Friday morning.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse called a further inspection for 7am this morning but was able to give the meeting the green light earlier following a relatively uneventful night.

Cheltenham's communications manager Andy Clifton said: "It's great news and racing goes ahead.

"We had four millimetres of rain overnight and the ground is now heavy, soft in places.

"It should be a great afternoon of racing."