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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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High hopes for LeopardstownHeadlines
Leopardstown

Leopardstown officials are optimistic they have escaped the worst of the rain ahead of the four-day Christmas festival, which begins on Wednesday.

The Dublin track got off relatively lightly on Friday as a forecast deluge failed to materialise and conditions are now expected to improve heading into next week.

Nessa Joyce, Leopardstown racing and operations manager, said on Saturday morning: "We only had seven millimetres of rain overnight, which we are very happy with as there was a lot more forecast. We are likely to be soft at this stage. That was the worst day in terms of rainfall."

She added: "Sunday should be decent, and we might even see a slight improvement. Although there is rain hanging around, Monday and Tuesday should be fine, with no threat of frost."

Officials at Limerick are confident Wednesday's meeting will go ahead as scheduled. Although heavy overnight rain on Friday left the track saturated, the long-range forecast is promising.

General manager Russell Ferris said: "I'm very hopeful we'll be OK. Friday night was the big one in terms of rain, and it certainly delivered. We would be borderline to race today (Saturday), but the forecast is good.

"There are a few showers likely over the new few days, but it should be dry on Monday and Tuesday, which is very good news."

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