If the winner of the Boylesports.com Hurdle in Leopardstown on Saturday 26th January goes on to land any race at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival, excluding the charity race, the bookmaker will pay winning connections a bonus of €100,000.
Jessica Harrington won last year’s renewal with Citizenship who has been allocated 10st 9lbs, he is likely to try and become the first horse since Redundant Pal in 1990 and 1991 to win the race in successive years. While last year’s runner-up, Leah Claire (10st 5lbs) could very well aim to go one place better.
Inis Meain was a much improved performer on the flat last year and Denis Hogan’s six year old is likely to prove popular with punters on the day off a feather weight of just 10st 3lbs. With this low weight he has been installed as the 4-1 favourite with Boylesports. It must be noted no horse has won this races from a weight above 10st 11lbs since Tony Martin’s winner Xenophon in 2003.
Gordon Elliott also seems to have a strong hand for the 2013 renewal as the co. Meath handler has four to choose from. Last season’s smart juvenile, Shadow Catcher (11st 2lbs) and the prolific winner Discoteca (10st 13lbs), both likely to figure prominently.
The weights are jointly headed on 11st 10lbs by Dermot Weld’s dual Grade 1 winner of last season, Hisaabaat, and Willie Mullins’ Rattan. The champion trainer has six entries for the prestigious handicap with Abbey Lane (10st 7lbs) possibly the pick of his sextet having putting up a gallant performance at Fairyhouse recently when a close runner up to the improving Fahamore after a break of nearly two years from the racecourse.
Noel Meade’s only success in this long established contest came with Glencloud in 1993. His exciting novice from last season Il Fenomeno (11st 2lbs) could possibly be well treated off 11st 2lbs on his best form. His recent Navan winner Blissful Moment (10st 1lbs) or the four year old Hartside (8st 9lbs ) completes his entries. Arthur Moore is the most successful trainer in the History of the race with six wins to his name holds a single entry in Gentleman Duke (9st 11lbs).
The Tom Mullins trained King Of Queens (11st 5lbs) is likely to be another leading fancy. He has been installed at 8-1 after having won his last two races in good style. Tony Martin’s improving Ted Veale (10st 13lbs) is another horse who will be well supported by punters and at the moment could be value at 7-1 with Boylesports.
If the winner of the Boylesports.com – Bet On Your Mobile Novice ‘Chase goes on to land any one of the Arkle Chase, Jewson Novices’ Chase or RSA Chase at Cheltenham, winning connections will receive a bonus of €50,000 from Boylesports.
Last year, Sir Des Champs won a high-class and thrilling Boylesports.com Novice ‘Chase and went on to land the €50,000 bonus by winning the ‘Jewson’ at the Festival. He is a leading player for this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Sir Des Champs’ owner, Michael O’Leary, generously donated the bonus to the Dublin hospital that had treated and cared for his father when he was ill with cancer.
In addition, Boylesports are offering ‘Non Runner, Money Back’ on the race (effective from 9:30am on Tuesday 15 January). This is the latest in a sequence of high-profile races to carry such an offer from Boylesports, Ireland’s largest independent bookmaker.
Pat Keogh CEO at Leopardstown Racecourse said: “The line-up for this year’s renewal of the Boylesports.com Hurdle is particularly strong. It has all the ingredients of being a cracking hurdle race. The commitment from Boylesports to the race and their Cheltenham Bonus Offer has resulted in a great entry.”
Leon Blanche, Head of Communications at Boylesports, commented “We are set for a fantastic day of racing at Leopardstown on 26 January. We are delighted to be sponsoring the feature races once again, and delighted also with the magnificent entry for the Boylesports.com Hurdle.”
He continued: “To make things even better for punters, we are again leading the industry in offering ‘Non-Runner, Money Back’ on the Boylesports.com Hurdle. Therefore, if you have a bet in the race from 9:30am on 15 January and your horse does not then line up in the Boylesports.com Hurdle, you will get your money back at Boylesports.”