Duke still on the drift with heavy rain expected
DUKE OF MARMALADE'S price was still drifting on Thursday morning despite reports from trainer Aidan O'Brien that the colt remained an intended runner in Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes.
The five time Group 1 winner was available to back at 3.05 at 10am on Betfair, having traded at 2.32 Wednesday evening, while New Approach had hardened to 1.93, from 2.1.
William Hill, the only major firm to reopen betting on the race after markets were suspended amid rumours Duke Of Marmalade would miss the race, had Duke Of Marmalade and New Approach as even money joint favourites, the Duke having been a 4-5 chance on Wednesday night.
With final declarations to be made later on Thursday, O'Brien's concern centres on the likely ground conditions at Leopardstown and though the going remained good Thursday morning, significant rain is forecast.
Racecourse manager Tom Burke said: "We only had 3mm yesterday and overnight and we are still calling it good. The forecast is a different matter.
"It is supposed to be largely dry until noon when we could get a few showers. Rain is due to reach Dublin at noon tomorrow and could persist through to noon Saturday when we could get up to 25mm."