Punchestown prepared to water ahead of Morgiana feature

All eyes are on ground conditions at Punchestown

Punchestown officials intend to do any essential watering to ensure the ground is no quicker than good for the highlight of their two-day meeting at the weekend.

The highly-regarded Samcro might try to make amends in the Grade One Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on Sunday following a shock defeat at Down Royal, but connections of the Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old have warned he will not run if there is not enough give in the ground.

The going was described as good, good to yielding in places on Tuesday after rain over the last few days, but the forecast is mainly dry for the rest of the week.

“We’ve had over 32 millimetres of rain since last Friday and that has left our ground as good, good to yielding in places on both the hurdle and chase tracks,” said Shona Dreaper, PR and communications manager at Punchestown.

“We don’t have a whole lot of rain forecast between now and the weekend, so we will monitor the situation and if areas need it, we will throw a bit of water on it just to make sure we deliver it as good.

“The Morgiana is traditionally usually the race that kicks off the National Hunt season proper and often attracts the seasonal debuts from these Champion Hurdle contenders or current champion hurdlers, so we are really looking forward to seeing Samcro and Supasundae from Jessie Harrington’s yard.

“Willie Mullins is going for eight consecutive wins in a row in the race, so he will be well represented as always.”