Major champion Shane Lowry visited three-time Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq in Limerick this week
GOLF Major winner Shane Lowry has visited two of horse racing's biggest stars in Limerick ahead of the defence of his British Open title next week.
2019 British Open winner Lowry travelled from the Irish Open at Mount Juliet in Kilkenny when he shot a stunning 66 in Sunday's final round to Limerick yesterday where he dropped in to visit three-time Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq and 2021 Aintree Grand National hero Minella Times.
Both Istabraq, now retired at Martinstown Stud, and Minella Times are owned by leading Limerick racehorse owner JP McManus.
Renowned hurdler Istabraq celebrated his 29th birthday in May. The star hurdler secured three successive Champion Hurdle victories at the Cheltenham Festival from 1998 to 2000 for JP and Noreen McManus. The cancellation of the Festival in 2001 due of foot and mouth disease almost certainly cost him of a fourth hurdling crown.
Istabraq has been enjoying a leisurely retirement at his owner’s Limerick home, Martinstown Stud.
Minella Times gave McManus his second success in the world's most famous race, the Randox Aintree Grand National in April.
Jockey Rachael Blackmore made sporting history by becoming the first female jockey to win the Grand National with her victory on the Henry de Bromhead-trained chaser.
Shane Lowry is currently preparing for the start of the British Open at Royal St George's on Thursday week, July 15.
Lowry claimed the Claret Jug in stunning fashion two years ago when claiming his first major championship win with a dominant six-shot victory at Royal Portrush
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