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Hurricane warning at Leopardstown

Hurricane Fly should get the chance to show his class in an eagerly awaited re-match with Solwhit, after Sunday’s Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown was last night given the green light.

Officials at Leopardstown are optimistic that the high-profile meeting will go ahead despite problems caused by the current frost.

Hurricane Fly and Solwhit last clashed in the Festival Hurdle at the same track on December 29, Willie Mullins’ charge coming out on top.

Hurricane Fly is rated a real threat to favourite Binocular in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Leopardstown was inspected yesterday and officials found that the overnight frost had not cleared from some sections of both the chase and hurdle courses.

However, temperatures are due to rise tomorrow and Sunday, leaving general manager Tom Burke hopeful the card will beat the elements.

“I think if we get the daytime temperatures they are forecasting for Saturday and Sunday, we should be okay,” said Burke last night.

“We'll just have to keep monitoring things on a daily basis. We could get some cloud cover on Friday night, which could help us as well.”

Larne trainer Stuart Crawford has Nationals on his mind for Killyglen, who is to make his next appearance in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster tomorrow week.

The strapping individual won the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in 2009 for Howard Johnson but his owner decided to move him closer to home this season and picked the County Antrim stable of Crawford.

Killyglen has raced three times for his new trainer but only once over fences, finishing fifth behind Kauto Star in the Champion Chase at the Down Royal Festival in November.

But his hurdling outings either side of that effort have been promising and he was third in a Punchestown handicap last month.

“All being well it's the plan to go to Doncaster as he's better on better ground and Doncaster would be one of the better courses for that,” said Crawford.

Belfast Telegraph


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