Heavy rain jeopardises Champion showdown

RAIN is jeopardising the showdown between Sea The Stars and Fame And Glory in Saturday’s Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

The participation of Sea The Stars hinges on suitable ground conditions, but with the course reported to be on the yielding side after heavy rain on Wednesday afternoon, trainer John Oxx faces a tough decision.

The final declaration stage is today and it is looking less certain the four-times Group One victor will line up against Aidan O’Brien’s Irish Derby winner.

“It commenced raining here at about one o’clock. It has been raining heavily, though it did ease for a while, but it started again,” said Leopardstown general manager Tom Burke.

“The rain could go on to the evening time. By three o’clock we’d had six millimetres of rain and we’ve had more since.

“This morning we were good to yielding, good in places but I’d say it’s probably yielding a bit now.

“Tomorrow we are forecast sunny spells with showers about and some drying conditions as it will be a breezy day.

“Friday will be similar but with less of a risk of showers while Saturday is set to be dry.

“I’ve filled in the trainers on the ground and the forecast and I’ll be having further conversations with them.

“Obviously Mr Oxx has a big call on it and the declarations are tomorrow morning.”

Betting exchange firm Betfair believe Sea The Stars will sidestep the mile-and-a-quarter showpiece and the dual Classic winner is now 15-2 third favourite after being 7-2 in the morning and 5-1 at lunchtime.

“At the time of writing, the heavy rain shows no sign of letting up, and the weekend clash between Sea The Stars and Fame And Glory appears long odds-on to be scuppered by the weather,” said Betfair’s head of media Tony Calvin.

Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes, Betfair bet: 2-5 Fame And Glory, 7-1 Casual Conquest, 15-2 Sea The Stars, 23-1 Mastercraftsman.

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