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Punjabi - 12.12.09

Punjabi: 'strong possibility' jump fans will get to see Punjabi on Saturday

  PICTURE: John Grossick  

Ffos Las offers beacon of hope to jump fans

FFOS LAS on Monday night offered a beacon of hope to frustrated jump fans when the track's founder claimed there was a "strong possibility" racegoers and Channel 4 viewers would get the chance to see reigning Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle hero Punjabi in action on Saturday.

With snow and frost looking likely to claim all midweek turf fixtures, the importance of Ffos Las's showpiece meeting has increased, and Dai Walters, the mastermind behind Britain's newest track, was on Monday positive racing would take place.

The £50,000 contest, for which Medermit and the Noel Meade-trained four-timer-seeking Donnas Palm have also been entered, is scheduled to be the biggest race broadcast on Saturday by Channel 4, whose viewers would be seeing racing from the Carmarthenshire track for the first time.

Walters, whose highly-regarded Oscar Whisky is entered in the opening novice hurdle at Ffos Las, said: "There is a strong possibility we will be on. There isn't much frost in the ground and as long as snow doesn't come down once we put the covers on the track, I think we'll be on.

"It would be a big deal for us if we could race, especially with so much jumps racing being abandoned. I can assure people that we are doing everything in our power. We haven't given up."

As well as Donnas Palm, Ireland could be represented by De Valira and Won In The Dark, fourth and sixth in the Leopardstown Golf Centre December Festival Hurdle.

De Valira's trainer James Morrissey said: "It's a provisional entry and he's a possible, but things are up in the air regarding the weather and travelling, so we'll have to wait and see."

SIS Live Welsh Champion Hurdle
William Hill:
Evens Punjabi, 5-2 Medermit, 7-2 Donnas Palm, 12-1 De Valira, 14-1 Blue Bajan, 16-1 Won In The Dark, 20-1 Red Moloney, 25-1 Bar

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