Twenty one horses have been entered for what looks like a mouth-watering renewal of the Grade 1 JNWine.com Champion Chase.
There are eight entries from Great Britain including the 2015 Grand National Winner, Many Clouds, who is trained by Oliver Sherwood.
Paul Nicholls has a tremendous record in this race and he will bid for his fifth victory in the year’s renewal and he has pencilled in last year’s runner up Rocky Creek, along with multiple Grade 1 Winner Silviniaco Conti as well as Saphir Du Rheu, successful in last season Grade 1 Mildmay Novice’s Steeplechase at Aintree.
Welsh based Rebecca Curtis could be represented by the 2014 RSA Chase winner O’Faolains Boy, as well as the smart Irish Cavalier. Down Royal native Neil Mulholland, who now trains in Conkwell Grange just outside Bath, could have first runner in the race, courtesy of the much improved The Young Master, while the David Pipe trained Dynaste completes the cross channel team.
Noel Meade has indicated that last year’s winner Road to Riches will return to defend his crown and he has also entered the locally owned pair Apache Stronghold and Texas Jack as well as Wounded Warrior.
Don Cossack, who won last season’s Grade 2 Powers Irish Whiskey Steeplechase, went on to develop into the best chaser in the British Isles and the eight year old heads a strong contingent for Gordon Elliott, who has also entered the 2013 JNWine.com Champion Chase winner Roi Du Mee along with Clarcam and Bright New Dawn.
Gigginstown House Stud could also be represented by the Mouse Morris trained, Rule The World. Willie Mullins aims for his first JNWine.com success with Alelchi Inois and Urano, while Henry De Bromhead, who went close to winning this race on three occasions with the brilliant Sizing Europe, could run the improving Grand Jesture, while Robbie Hennessy has entered Rubi Light.
General Manager Mike Todd says this year’s Festival is shaping up to be another world-class fixture.
“With some of the leading British and Irish trainers entering for this year’s festival, we are looking forward to a premium line-up representing the best in horse racing from across Ireland and Great Britain.
“The excellence of the entries, with the first Grade 1 contest of the season and some of the finest National Hunt racing available, coupled with our unrivalled hospitality offering and state of the art facilities NIFOR looks set to be the horse racing event of the year.”
The Victoria Square Best Dressed Lady competition will take place on day 2 of the Festival (October 31st) This year’s winner will be jetting off to New York for the ultimate Christmas shopping experience including return flights to New York, three nights’ accommodation in the five star W Hotel on Lexington, and £500 to spend while they’re there. Luxury menswear retailer Hugo Thomas will sponsor the Best Dressed Man competition on Friday 30th, with a made to measure suit for the winner.
Gates open from 11am on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st October with the first race starting at 12:35pm on Saturday (approx.).
Admission from £12, children under 16 get free admission and there is free car parking for everyone attending.
Hospitality packages start from £60 per person. Book now at www.downroyal.com
Main Pic: Meagan Green takes the reins for the launch of this year’s Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal on the 30th and 31st of October. Pictured are (l-r) Mick Fitzgerald, broadcaster and Former National Hunt jockey, Down Royal General Manager Mike Todd and Matt Chapman
Pic Below: Mike Mick and Matt