The news on Wednesday that racing in Ireland will continue brought utter relief.

We want to thank both Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish government for understanding both the needs of the Irish racing industry and the fact that, with measured precautions, racing can continue in a safe environment.

All our staff are working with caution. We’ve stopped using communal areas and are really bringing social distancing into our workplace. We’ve also added a thermometer to the yard, which all the staff are using to regularly check their temperature.

We’re taking no risks and understand that health is more important than anything else.

Saturday at Thurles

The card at Thurles is as competitive as expected with the Grade 3 Pierce Molony Chase the feature race at 15:10.

It’s a strong field of nine runners and, if anything can get past Sizing Pottsie , then it will win.

He’s a lightly-raced horse and is clearly improving. He’s a super jumper and his front-running style will be well-suited to Thurles, too. He was a good winner last time and really should take all the beating.

We had entered An Fraoch Mor at the five-day stage, but we’ve decided to give him an extra week and he might go to Limerick next weekend.

The other horse I think has a superb chance is Mary Frances in the 14:10.

I like this mare. She’s tough and you can see that she wants to race. She’ll go from the front and make it a test for the others and has a very accomplished rider on her back in Eoin Walsh. He’s superb value for his 7lb and that can really make a difference.

We’ve got two runners ourselves at Thurles on Saturday, starting in the first race (13:40), where Divine Approach makes her second start in four days.

Poor Luke Dempsey had no choice but to pull her up at the start of the race on Tuesday after she collided with another horse and he had both legs over one side of her. She’s shown no ill signs from that outing so we’ve decided to crack straight on with her but, make no mistake, this is a competitive race and we’d be delighted if she managed to get placed.

Western Sea is our other runner in the 15:40, but the handicapper has him right where he wants him.

We know we’re not going to be improving, but he’s consistent and honest and always gives his best. He’s a course-and-distance winner and getting in the frame would delight us all.

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