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Punchestown goes ahead

This afternoon's meeting at Punchestown goes ahead following an 8am inspection, although two chases have been called off.

The third day of the Festival meeting was due to feature the Grade One Ryanair Novice Chase, but that two-mile event has been cancelled, along with the Coleman Tunnelling Ireland, U.K. and Africa Handicap Chase.

However, the rest of the card will be run, with the Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle and the Avon Ri Corporate & Leisure Resort Chase for the La Touche Cup over the banks course the headline contests. Racing will now start at 4.50pm rather than 3.40pm.

Richie Galway, Punchestown's racing manager, said: "The team on the track have worked through the night to provide an entirely new hurdle course and have dealt with any surface water that accumulated yesterday.

"The going is obviously heavy but we have worked with the trainers and jockeys throughout this process. First and foremost is the safety of the horses and riders."

The Ryanair Novice Chase has now been added to Friday's Festival card but the four chases originally scheduled for that day have all been called off due to the ground issues.

A six-race Saturday card, beginning at 2.30, will feature thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup at 3.10, with the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at 5.00.

It is hoped that all cancelled races from the week, which total nine, will be run on an alternative date with further updates to be made post-Festival.

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