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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Mendelssohn given Dundalk target as Ballydoyle battles elements

Aidan O'Brien to run Kentucky Derby entries next week at Dundalk
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Mendelssohn, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner and one of Aidan O’Brien’s nominations for the Kentucky Derby in May, is likely to make his reappearance in the Listed Patton Stakes at Dundalk next week.

The race, which has been increased in distance from seven furlongs to a mile, forms part of the European 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' series and was due to be run on Friday. However, the meeting was a victim of the bad weather and has been rescheduled for next Friday.

O’Brien said: “We've Mendelssohn, Seahenge and Threeandfourpence entered for another race in the series at Kempton on Wednesday and it’s possible that one of them – maybe Threeandfourpence – will run there and that the other two will run at Dundalk.

“We’ll see what the weather does over the next few days and if there's a doubt about Kempton going ahead then all three could go to Dundalk.”

Ballydoyle has not escaped the snow which has swept across Ireland in recent days.

O’Brien reported: “We’ve had a lot, some of it very deep. There’s been more of it than I’ve ever seen here before. We’ve been able to keep the horses on the move but they’ve been barely moving – you could call it a go-slow.”

Conditions on the Curragh remained poor on Friday, with the gallops again shut.

Kevin Prendergast, the father figure of Curragh trainers, said: “Everything's closed. We couldn’t get out, not even onto our own gallops as there's two feet of snow in places. We were confined to the barn and rolling yard today.”

Michael Halford, whose Copper Beech Stables are close to the Curragh, said: “We were able to get the horses out on Wednesday and yesterday, and using our indoor ride kept us going, but it was a different story this morning. 

"There was a lot of snow and because of strong winds it drifted. It was bitterly cold and we weren’t able to do a lot.”

As well as revealing the new date for Dundalk's cancelled fixture, Horse Racing Ireland announced details of other replacement cards.

The meeting due to be run at Navan on Saturday has been rescheduled for Thursday, with fresh entries on Monday.

Leopardstown's meeting due to be run on Sunday will now take place on Friday, also with fresh entries on Monday. The 2m5f beginners' chase, however, has been axed.

The track's scheduled fixture on Monday is not being replaced but three of the races on the card will be slotted in at other meetings. 

Clonmel's cancelled meeting on Thursday has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 20.

The Dundalk fixture originally slated for next Friday will instead by run on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival, Monday, March 12.

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There’s been more snow than I’ve ever seen here before
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