09/05/2008 11:00PM

Rain sinks Leopardstown card


Saturday's card at Leopardstown, which was to have featured a clash between Duke of Marmalade and New Approach in the Irish Champion Stakes, was abandoned due to a waterlogged course. The entire program, including the Group 1 Matron Stakes, has been rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, weather permitting.

Track officials have scheduled an inspection at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to insure that the course will be fit for racing. Even if they give the go-ahead there is a possibility that Duke of Marmalade will not be in the Irish Champion lineup, as trainer Aidan O'Brien might not want to risk him on heavy ground.

If Duke of Marmalade does show up for the $1.45 million, 1 1/4-mile Group 1, he will have a new rider in Jamie Heffernan as his regular partner, Johnny Murtagh, will be in Paris on Sunday to ride Henrythenavigator in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. That news comes on the heels of Ladbrokes having installed Henrythenavigator as its 3-1 favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic. The British bookies make Curlin their 4-1 second choice, with Big Brown, Colonel John, and Go Between all at 8-1.

* Heavy rains also forced the cancellation of Saturday's meeting at Haydock Park. The six-furlong, Group 1 Haydock Park Sprint Cup has been rescheduled for next Saturday at Doncaster on the same card as the classic St. Leger Stakes.