Hennessy meeting rescheduled

THE Hennessy Gold Cup meeting at Leopardstown, cancelled because of waterlogging yesterday, has been rescheduled for next Saturday, February 12.

Fresh entries will close by 12 noon tomorrow, while the four Grade 1’s on the programme will revert to the original entries and fresh forfeits for these races must also be made by 12 noon on Tuesday.

Gowran Park was originally set to race this coming Saturday, but that meeting has now been moved to the following Saturday, February 19. Entries will close by 12 noon on Monday, February 14.

Fairyhouse on Saturday, February 19 has been transferred to Wednesday, February 23. Entries will close by 12 noon on Thursday, February 17.

Navan on Wednesday, February 23 goes to Friday, February 25. Entries will close by 12 noon on Monday, February 21.

Horse Racing Ireland and Leopardstown Racecourse yesterday put on record their appreciation to principal sponsor Hennessy, and all other sponsors on the Leopardstown card, to Gowran Park and their principal sponsor, Red Mills, to Fairyhouse, who had a significant number of pre-bookings for their Saturday card, and to Navan Racecourse for all their co-operation in facilitating the fixture alterations.

Leopardstown manager, Tom Burke, said: “We are very grateful to the other racecourses for their assistance in these changes and would like to inform all Gowran Park, Fairyhouse and Navan annual badge members that they will be admitted free of charge to Leopardstown.”

Paul Nolan reaffirmed his aim to run last year’s winner Joncol in the rearranged Hennessy.

“Hopefully they will be able to race next week because after that it will probably be too close to Cheltenham for some of the horses.

“As far as we are concerned the Hennessy is our Cheltenham for Joncol. That’s our aim for the season with him. Hopefully we can keep him in one piece until Saturday and we’ll get him there as healthy as he was today.”

One horse who will be missing from the Hennessy line-up on Saturday, however, is Paul Nicholls’ Pride Of Dulcote. He had been the ante-post favourite, ever since it became clear the impressive Lexus Chase winner, Pandorama, would miss the contest.

Nicholls shipped Pride Of Dulcote back to Britain yesterday. According to Nicholls, Pride Of Dulcote, who has been well backed for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, will now run in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Ascot on February 19.

His other Leopardstown runner, Indian Daudaie, has remained in Ireland and will contest the Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle.

He is housing with Ted Walsh and reported Nicholls: “Ruby (Walsh) is taking over his training!”

The two other English challengers for the Hennessy, The Listener and Money Trix, have also stayed in Ireland and are on course for Saturday.

Meanwhile, there are no immediate plans to reschedule Naas, which was also lost to waterlogging last Saturday. The course was reportedly hit by 50mms of rain in two days.

The priority for Naas is to concentrate on their two important meetings on Sunday, February 20 and Sunday, March 6.

Fixtures for the coming week: Wednesday - Punchestown, Thursday - Thurles, Saturday - Leopardstown and Sunday - Navan.

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