With the gates of Prestbury Park open, we’ll begin today’s Scoreline Morning Report with racing as this year’s Cheltenham Festival, one of the biggest events in the world racing calendar, gets underway today.
Whether you’re a hardened racing follower or a casual fan who fancies a flutter during the week, there’s going to be plenty of Cheltenham talk this week with Irish entries expected to dominate proceedings over the next four days. With rain overnight, the going is expected to be soft if not worse for today’s opening day races with the Willie Mullins-trained Facilie Vega favourite for Supreme Novices Hurdle at 1.30pm.
Gowran-based trainer Paul Hennessy is at Cheltenham this week as he brings Jacovec Cavern to Friday’s Triumph Hurdle but with regard to today’s racing, he thinks Honeysuckle still was one win left before retirement after the Mares Hurdle. You can hear Paul’s full chat with Sue Nunn below.
Today’s seven-race card begins at 1.30pm and we’ll have updates on air across the afternoon with more on The Way It Is this evening.
Kilkenny injury concerns
Given we’re in something of a shorter week, it’s a good time to tell you we’ll have at least five games live on air this weekend between the colleges senior A hurling final, round six of the football league, round four of the camogie league and the closing stages of this year’s Allianz Hurling League.
Ahead of those games and as injury concerns mount for Kilkenny, manager Derek Lyng has suggested Danesfort’s Richie Hogan is edging closer to a return with Waterford next on the horizon. You can hear Lyng’s latest injury update on our Scoreline Extra podcast.
A win or draw over Waterford should see Kilkenny safely through to this year’s league semi-final but we’ll cross that bridge on Sunday afternoon.
Last night saw the draws for the St. Canice’s Credit Union and Michael Lyng Motors senior-intermediate hurling league and the JJ Kavanagh & Sons all county junior hurling league in Kilkenny have taken place.
The first round of games are scheduled for the weekend of April 28th with two groups of six in each division, again, we’ll have full details online shortly.
In football, the rescheduled JJ Kavanagh & Sons senior football league semi-final in Kilkenny between Mooncoin and Mullinavat takes place tonight
Carlow men down under
Carlow men Bryan Duignan and Tony Gartland will participate in the World Transplant Games in Perth next month. They’re part of the 14-strong Transplant Team Ireland. Tony was the first person to undergo a liver transplant in Ireland, that’s 30 years ago now and first represented Ireland at the 1995 games. Bryan is originally from Tipperary but living in Carlow for a long time now. He’ll be competing in the triathlon, the 5k road race and TT bike race.
Champions League is back, Six Nations prep resumes
A place in the Champions League quarter-finals is on offer for Manchester City tonight. They’re level at 1-1 with RB Leipzig ahead of the second leg of their last-16 tie. Kick off is at 8pm with tonight’s other game seeing Inter take a 1-0 lead into their knockout clash with Porto.
And on the rugby front, the Ireland squad are back in training today hopefully having had a little downtime after Sunday’s bruising encounter with Scotland. Iain Henderson and Garry Ringrose will definitely miss Saturday’s Six Nations showdown with England where a win at the Aviva earns Ireland a fourth-ever Grand Slam.
Tom Stewart and Ross Molony have both been called up to the squad.
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