Punchestown confident for Tuesday's rescheduled card but Ayr among cancellations
Punchestown manager Conor O'Neill reported the track to be raceable at noon on Monday and is confident Tuesday's card will get the green light.
The seven-race fixture, featuring the BoyleSports Grand National Trial (4.00), was due to take place on Sunday, but the course was hit by flash floods on the morning of the meeting. A total of 27 millimetres of rain fell in less than an hour, leaving the track unfit for racing.
The ground at Punchestown is now heavy following 59mm of rain since Saturday night, but O'Neill confirmed the course is fit for racing and is optimistic it will remain that way into Tuesday.
He said: "We're in good shape at the moment. We were unlucky on Sunday and it was the flash floods on the morning of racing that proved our undoing. The weather forecast is mixed from now until race time but I would be confident we will be okay, once we get a bit of luck.
"We will continue monitoring the situation and, if we deem an inspection is required we will call one this evening. We are currently raceable."
Ayr's fixture on Tuesday and meetings at Wetherby and Fairyhouse on Wednesday have been the latest to fall victim to Storm Ciara due to waterlogging.
Graeme Anderson, clerk of the course at Ayr, tweeted on Monday morning: "Racing abandoned waterlogged. On Tuesday 11th Feb 16mm past 24hrs 51mm since 5pm Saturday night. Further 10 to 15mm forecast before racing and weather warning for wind 50mph."
We had 40mm rain during the storm & there’s more to come. This is the current situation so prospects not great. River levels are dropping, but very slowly. There will be an Inspection at 2pm on Monday. pic.twitter.com/BM93vnHgKp— Wetherby Racecourse (@WetherbyRaces) February 10, 2020
Officials at Newcastle are hoping the twilight Flat card on Tuesday can go ahead despite the threat of high winds.
Clerk of the course James Armstrong said: "Depending on which weather forecast you look at the worst case scenario are 50mph winds which would pose a problem.
"If, as seems likely they are head winds it is not a such a problem as if they were blowing across the track it's more serious. It's a health and safety issue at the end of the day and we may well have to make a late call when we've assessed conditions on Tuesday afternoon."
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