THE full programme of National Hunt races for the months of June and July has been published by Horse Racing Ireland.
Although racing resumes on Monday week, June 8th, the first National Hunt fixture will not take place until Limerick on Monday, June 22nd. There are no mixed meetings scheduled for the time being, in order to minimise the number of people working at the racecourse.
Stretching to cover the August bank holiday weekend, the programme covers 24 National Hunt meetings at 12 racecourses.
Significant changes have been made to the traditional race programme at the Galway Festival but the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle will be run on the Wednesday and Thursday of the meeting as normal, with a listed novice hurdle and a Grade 3 novice chase featuring on the respective cards.
Also maintained in the revised National Hunt programme are the Grade 3 Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary on June 26th and the Grade 3 An Riocht Chase and Grade B Bourn Vincent Handicap Chase at Killarney on July 7th. The Fast Shipping Handicap Hurdle at Bellewstown on July 4th and the Midlands National at Kilbeggan on July 10th will be other opportunities prior to the Galway Festival.
Shane Doyle, HRI’s race planning manager, said: “Most cards have been programmed with the possibility of a divide included to respond as effectively as possible to the demands of the horse population and give additional opportunities in the areas of highest demand.
“The quality of horses running through the summer programme, even outside the Galway Festival, continues to rise, with the likes of Ballyoisin, Darver Star, Peregrine Run and Ravenhill appearing regularly last year.”
HRI will publish the full flat programme up to the conclusion of the Galway Festival late next week.