Leopardstown today announced that Istabraq will parade on the 29th December, at the inaugural running of the Istabraq Festival Hurdle on the final day of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
Istabraq is one of the greatest horses of all time and race goers will get the chance to see the legendary Istabraq once again back on the scene of so many of his famous victories. Istabraq’s last run at Leopardstown was on the 29th December 2001 when he won the December Festival Hurdle.
Istabraq holds the distinction of winning at four Cheltenham Festivals in a row, which is a remarkable achievement. He followed up his success in the Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle in 1997 with three Champion Hurdles in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Charlie Swan, who rode Istabraq in all of his 29 starts over hurdles, said; “Istabraq was an amazing horse. He had everything, speed, wonderful jump, the works. He still holds the record time for the Champion Hurdle in Cheltenham. He was truly a once in a lifetime horse. It was great that he is owned by a wonderful owner, JP McManus and his trainer, Aidan O’ Brien, wasn’t too bad either! The Festival Hurdle was always a stepping stone on the way to Cheltenham. It will be great to see him back in Leopardstown again.”