Tipsters predict rain-soaked Punchestown

by Kieran O'Daly , 24 April 2012

Punchestown punters and pundits should come prepared as the weather tipsters are predicting a week of heavy rain.

The Co. Kildare track, home to one of Ireland’s most prestigious race meetings, is set to host five days of top-class action from today but conditions are already described as soft, soft to heavy in places ahead of the opening race with plenty more rain forecast for the rest of the week.

"It's going to be testing ground tomorrow and unfortunately, the weather has turned against us," said course general manager Richie Galway.

"We've had 30 millimetres of rain in the last week and 11 millimetres of that fell during Sunday. We've had another three millimetres so far today and the forecast is unpredictable, but very unsettled.

"We're forecast heavy showers tomorrow. How much we'll get is hard to say, but the MET Office's best guess is five millimetres. Tuesday night through until Thursday night is again hard to gauge, but we could get anything between 20 and 50 millimetres."

Given the serious amount of rain that has been forecast, there have alreay been some concerns voiced as to whether the festival will be able to take place at all, but Galway is adopting a wait and see approach.

"We're obviously going to monitor things very closely," he continued.

"I haven't seen Punchestown have many problems for a long time, but the forecast is very unstable and we're just going to have to see how much rain we actually get.

"We have fresh ground on the hurdle track, which is a big advantage and the chase track is wide enough that we can have fresh ground on that each day as well if needed.

"We're just going to have to see what happens."

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