Winning jockey Patrick Mullins and superstar Faugheen following their success in the Grade 1 Matchbook Betting Exchange Novice Chase at Limerick Racecourse last Christmas
A STELLAR entry of 31 horses has been made for the Grade 1 Matchbook Betting Exchange Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick Racecourse on St Stephen's Day.
The race has been renamed to honour the mighty 11-time Grade 1 winner Faugheen who brought the house down with a terrific display to win last year.
His trainer Willie Mullins has made 14 entries, an enviable team that includes Monkfish, Blackbow, Asterion Forlonge, Janidil, Klassical Dream and Colreevy.
Gordon Elliott won the inaugural running of this race as a Grade 1 in 2018 with Hardline and Envoi Allen, Easywork, Andy Dufresne and Pencilfulloflead are among his entry of six.
Successful in a beginners’ chase at Limerick in October, Home By The Lee features among Joseph O'Brien’s four entries, while Eleazar Des Neiges, the winner of a maiden hurdle at last year’s Limerick Christmas Festival is one of two entries from Henry de Bromhead.
Patrick O’Callaghan, General Manager of Limerick Racecourse, said: “We are delighted with the calibre of entries for the Grade 1 Matchbook Betting Exchange Faugheen Novice Chase on St Stephen’s Day. All the big names are entered with Envoi Allen and Asterion Forlonge to name two. This could be the race of the season.
“Last year’s race will live long in the memory of all who saw Faugheen and Samcro turning for home and the reception that Faugheen received in the winners’ enclosure.
“Earlier this year we changed the registered name of the race to The Faugheen Grade 1 Novice Chase in recognition of Faugheen’s fantastic achievements. This is unusual for a horse still in training, however there is no denying that Faugheen truly is a legend in his own time.”
Eric Hegarty, Matchbook Head of Marketing, said: “We are delighted to partner with Limerick Racecourse again this year to sponsor the Grade 1 feature race after such an impressive win for Faugheen in 2019. This is the third year of our partnership and we are looking forward to another cracking renewal on what is one of the most highly anticipated race days in the Irish Racing calendar.
“Matchbook Betting Exchange, a peer-to-peer betting platform, has invested heavily in horse racing sponsorship and it’s racing product over the past four years and provides highly liquid markets and low commissions for serious horse racing bettors.”