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Fairyhouse on weather watch

Officials at Fairyhouse are keeping a close eye on the weather ahead of Saturday's fixture.

A cold snap has caused several abandonments in the UK so far this week, although the cards at Down Royal and Clonmel escaped the worse of it on this side of the Irish Sea.

However, an assessment of conditions at Fairyhouse on Thursday found the course to be unfit for racing at present and the situation is being monitored, with temperatures forecast to rise closer to raceday.

Racecourse manager Peter Roe said: "I'm very hopeful we'll be racing. At 8am on Thursday we were frozen, but the temperature has been getting up and the frost has been coming out of the ground quite quickly.

"It is due to pick up on Friday evening and with the forecast we've got we should be fine."

No problems are reported at Punchestown, although conditions will be testing.

"It's heavy at the moment and they put the frost covers down on Tuesday on both the hurdle and chase tracks," said Irish Turf Club press officer Cliff Noone.

"There was a heavy frost on Wednesday night and another is forecast for tonight but after that it looks like it's going to get a bit milder. There's some rain forecast as well.

"It's expected to be an improving situation as we go into the weekend."

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