Raced for the first time in 2011, this relatively new race to the Cheltenham Festival, appeals to slower horses than those who will run in the RSA Chase and The Arkle. Sponsored by JLT, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, this Grade 1 race over 2 miles and 4 furlongs takes place over 17 fences.
This year, the race actually takes place on 15th March, St Patrick’s Thursday, at 13.30 GMT and with a real Irish flavour, celebrate on the day with a drink at the famous Guinness Village. 46 entrants compete for the £150,000 prize fund, on the New Course at Prestbury Park.
Previous years’ races have been dominated by Willie Mullins, winner of the race no less than 4 times. Another repeat winner is documented as Ruby Walsh, in years 2015, 2016 and 2017. These 2 champions have had latest victories with Yorkhill (2017), Black Hercules (2016) and Vautour (2015).
Possible contenders for 2018 could be a straight fight between Footpad and Willoughby Court, although other challengers could well be Yanworth, Invitation Only and Al Boum Photo. This race has become useful for those punters searching for potential Gold Cup and Ryanair Trophy winning horses.