Here’s a compiled list of 5 races during the Irish jump season that every racing fan must tick off, also included in this piece is a possible ante-post selection for each of the five races.
1 Irish Grand National, the Irish National is one of the biggest races in the calendar year, sponsored by one of Ireland’s biggest bookmakers BoyleSports. The National is run every Easter Monday at Fairyhouse racecourse and is run just over 3 and half miles with 24 fences. Some great horses have won the Irish National including the likes of Our Duke, Comanche Court and Desert Orchid. One of the highlights of the year the Irish National is a must.
Antepost pick: Magic of Light
2 John Durkan Memorial Chase, the John Durkan is usually a chance to see some of the Irish contingent that challenged for the Cheltenham Gold Cup the year before. It’s run over 2miles and 4furlongs and is the perfect way for many horses to race in their first grade one of their season. Memorable winners include triple gold cup winner Sizing John, Don Cossack and Flemenstar.
Ante-post pick: Presenting Percy
3 Irish Gold Cup, the Irish Gold Cup is usually the final race that many horses have before they embark on their quest to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Irish Gold Cup is run at Leopardstown every February over 3 miles and 17 fences. It has proved a good last run in the build up to Cheltenham with the likes of Sizing John and Jodami both winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup after running in the Irish Gold Cup each year this attracts a big crowd and usually proves to be an enjoyable race.
Antepost pick: Kemboy
4 Punchestown Champion Hurdle, the Punchestown champion hurdle is the only hurdle race in this list and it fully deserves its spot on the list featuring some of Ireland and the Uk’s best hurdlers. The Champion Hurdle is one of the highlights and most anticipated races of the Punchestown festival each year, a grade 1 race over 2 miles in distance and has been won by some of the best hurdlers ever including Supasundae, Faugheen and Hurricane Fly.
Antepost pick: Supasundae
5 The Punchestown Gold Cup, the Punchestown Gold Cup is the number one race on every Irish racing fans calendar and is a must see race a strong field is always entered and contains the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner or previous winners on a regular occurrence it’s a must see race for not just the Irish and British. The Punchestown Gold Cup is the feature race of the whole festival and legendary jockey Ruby Walsh ran his last competitive race in last year’s rendition of the Gold Cup where Kemboy won. Past winners include Sizing John, Neptunes Collonges and Beef or Salmon.
Antepost pick: Sizing John.
Article written by Ryan Sharkey