Increased prize money of €200,000 for the competitive Paddy Power Chase at The Leopardstown Christmas Festival


Press Release | Leopardstown Christmas Festival | 7th December 2017

Thursday, December 07, 2017
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Noble Endeavour and Davy Russell win the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown 27.12.2016


We are very grateful to Paddy Power for their continued commitment to Leopardstown and the Christmas Festival. This boost in prize money will ensure we continue to attract high calibre horses for this race and re-affirms its position as one of the most anticipated races at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival - Pat Keogh Leopardstown Racecourse CEO. 

Leopardstown Racecourse and Paddy Power are pleased to announce an increase in prize money from €190,000 to €200,000 for the feature race on Day 2 of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, the three-mile Paddy Power Handicap Steeplechase (Grade B), extended handicap. The race has always been an ultra-competitive showpiece for national hunt racing as well as the most valuable race of the Christmas Festival which also hosts seven Grade 1 races over the four-day festival.

Last year’s renewal saw Gordon Elliot’s Noble Endeavor and Davy Russell deny Willie Mullins’ hot favourite The Crafty Butcher ridden by Ruby Walsh in a gripping renewal. This race is always a thrilling prospect for racing fans with the maximum entries of twenty eight runners generally declared each year.

Pat Keogh, Chief Executive of Leopardstown Racecourse, said: “We are very grateful to Paddy Power for their continued commitment to Leopardstown and the Christmas Festival. This boost in prize money will ensure we continue to attract high calibre horses for this race and re-affirms its position as one of the most anticipated races at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.”

Paddy Power, a spokesman for Paddy Power commented: “Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and it's an honour to be involved in such a great event, as always. The increase in prize money is another initiative to make the Paddy Power Chase even greater! With such a big field it should be a head scratcher of a race but we said that last year and the favourite and second favourite fought it out....not that I'm bitter or anything! I can't wait for the off.”
//ENDS

For Media/Press queries please contact:
Siobhan Warfield-Beattie;
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +353 86 8052995

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EDITORS NOTES

KEY FACTS ON THE PADDY POWER HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE GRADE B of €200,000 
• First run in 1996, the Paddy Power Handicap Steeplechase is one of the most fiercely competitive races in the racing calendar.   Most years, the maximum field of 28 line up to make this one of the most open and thrilling contests in Ireland and the UK.  The first winner of the 1996 race, the ‘Mouse’ Morris trained New Co, is one of four favourites to win the race and this 11/4 shot is still the shortest priced winner in the race’s entire history. 
 
• Generally, winners have been well- fancied contenders with five of the last six winners priced between 5/1 and 7/1.
 
• Owner J.P. McManus is by far the most successful owner with five winners carrying his famous green and orange silks.  It is no surprise to see that three of his winners (World Wide Web in 2003, Keepatem in 2004 and Colbert Station in 2012) were all favourites as was his most recent winner, the well-backed 2015 hero; Minella Foru (7/1)
 
• There have been two English trained winners with Paul Nicholls saddling Calling Wild to triumph in 1998 under Joe Tizzard and Jonjo O’Neill’s World Wide Web scoring in 2003 under Liam Cooper.
 
• The following trainers all hold two wins each in this valuable €200,000 event:
Noel Meade  (Coq Hardi Diamond in 2002 and Cross Appeal in 2011)
Mouse’ Morris (New Co in 1996 and Keepatem in 2005)
Tony Martin  (Newbay Prop in 2007, Living Next Door in 2014)
 
• The race has proved a decent guide in respect of the Aintree Grand National as the 2005 winner Black Apalachi, then trained by Philip Rothwell, went on to chase home Don’t Push It in the 2010 Grand National when in the care of the late Dessie Hughes.  The 2009 victor, Oscar Time, trained by Martin Lynch was also a subsequent Grand National runner up as he gave best to Ballabriggs in the 2011 renewal of the Aintree spectacular.

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