UPDATE: Day two of Punchestown WILL go ahead without Gold Cup

Day two of Punchestown will go ahead this afternoon, but without the Gold Cup.

Day two of Punchestown will go ahead this afternoon, but without the Gold Cup.

That race has reportedly been moved to Saturday and no chases will be run today.

There had been mounting speculation around Naas this morning that the races would be called off as torrential rainfall and high winds hit the locality.

However, racing officials walked the track at lunchtime and it was decided to go ahead with most of today’s meeting. As a result, the first race today starts at 4.55pm.

President Michael D Higgins cancelled this afternoon’s planned 3pm visit to the racecourse. A statement was issued from his office at lunchtime that he would not be attending the race meeting today.

Earlier this morning, Punchestown racecourse management said that day two of the National Hunt Festival would go ahead today, Wednesday April 24, despite the torrential rainfall and windy conditions in Naas this morning.

“At present day two of the Punchestown festival will go ahead as scheduled,” said a spokesperson shortly before 11am this morning.

“We will continue to monitor wind and rain. However, winds are due to ease in the afternoon.”

Punchestown Racecourse opened its its gates at the later time of 1.30pm today.

- Laura Coates