Tomorrow’s Fairyhouse card moved to Thursday

DUE to the adverse weather forecast for the weekend, with ground frosts predicted for both today and tomorrow, Horse Racing Ireland has agreed to a request from Fairyhouse Racecourse to transfer its fixture tomorrow to Thursday, December 2.

Peter Roe, acting Fairyhouse Manager, explained: “Following a committee meeting this evening we have decided to move the Fairyhouse Saturday card to next Thursday in order to give the best possible chance of racing going ahead on Sunday. With three top quality Grade 1 races on the premier day of National Hunt racing in Ireland pre-Christmas, we want to do everything possible to preserve Sunday’s card.”

Meanwhile, Noble Prince, as short as 4-1 second favourite with William Hill for the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday, will not run in the Grade 1 race.

Trainer Paul Nolan had aimed Des Sharkey’s six-year-old at the €80,000 event after he skipped an engagement in the Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown almost a fortnight ago, but was unsure of his participation following several disappointing runs by stablemates.

But he said yesterday: “We’re just not 100 per cent happy with him and he won’t run.”

Nolan is also unlikely to be represented in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, with 16-1 shot Shinrock Paddy now being aimed at the Tara Hurdle at Navan on December 12.

This would leave Nolan with just one runner in the trio of Grade 1 contests in Carlowswayback, who holds an entry in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.

However, Nolan warned: “We haven’t made up our minds just yet about Carloswayback. He’s probably only 50-50 to run. Shinrock Paddy is not totally ruled out of the Hatton’s Grace, but he will not run unless there are serious drop outs like Solwhit and Hurricane Fly.”

- The British Horseracing Authority is looking into ensuring the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle is saved after the meeting fixed for tomorrow was claimed by the weather.

If the race is re-routed elsewhere, as it was in 2008 when run at Wetherby, then Newbury’s Hennessy card may not be the beneficiary.

Another possible temporary home for the Grade One contest could be the Sandown meeting next weekend, although concerns have been voiced that this would put the race too close to Boylesports International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

- Towcester’s meeting tomorrow will have to pass a 7am inspection today.

Overnight temperatures dipped to minus 2C and with even colder weather on the way, clerk of the course Robert Bellamy thought it best to take an early look.

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