December Festival Hurdle

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The December Festival Hurdle, currently known by its sponsored title of the Ryanair Hurdle, is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Ireland which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Leopardstown over a distance of about 2 miles (3,219 metres), and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year during the Christmas Festival meeting in late December.

Prior to 2013 the race was named the Istabraq Festival Hurdle in honour of Istabraq, who won it four times. The race took its current title in 2013 when Ryanair began sponsoring the race.[1] Former titles of the event included the paddypower.com iPhone App Hurdle, Sean P. Graham Memorial Hurdle and the Bookmakers Hurdle. The race was first run in 1986, and it has held Grade 1 status since 2002. It is often used as a trial for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Three horses have won both races in the same season – Istabraq three times, Hurricane Fly twice and Brave Inca once.

Records[edit]

  • Most successful horseIstabraq, 4 wins (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001)
  • Most successful jockeyCharlie Swan, 6 wins (1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001)
  • Most successful trainerPaddy Mullins, 6 wins (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994)

Winners[edit]

  • Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
Year
Winner
Age
Jockey
Trainer
1986 Derrymore Boy 4 Tony Mullins Paddy Mullins
1987 Cloughtaney 6 Tony Mullins Paddy Mullins
1988 Grabel 5 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins
1989 Grabel 6 Tony Mullins Paddy Mullins
1990 Grabel 7 Tony Mullins Paddy Mullins
1991 Galevilla Express 4 Colin Bowens Victor Bowens
1992 Novello Allegro 4 Charlie Swan Noel Meade
1993 Fortune and Fame 6 Brendan Sheridan Dermot Weld
1994 Boro Eight 8 Tommy Treacy Paddy Mullins
1995 Kharasar 5 Mark Dwyer Tony Mullins
1996 Theatreworld 4 Charlie Swan Aidan O'Brien
1997 Istabraq 5 Charlie Swan Aidan O'Brien
1998 Istabraq 6 Charlie Swan Aidan O'Brien
1999 Istabraq 7 Charlie Swan Aidan O'Brien
2000 Moscow Flyer 6 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington
2001 Istabraq 9 Charlie Swan Aidan O'Brien
2002 Liss A Paoraigh 7 Barry Geraghty John Kiely
2003 Golden Cross 4 Adrian Lane Michael Halford
2004 Macs Joy 5 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington
2005 Brave Inca 7 Tony McCoy Colm Murphy
2006 Brave Inca 8 Ruby Walsh Colm Murphy
2007 Al Eile 7 Timmy Murphy John Queally
2008 Sublimity 8 Philip Carberry Robert Hennessy
2009 Solwhit 5 Davy Russell Charles Byrnes
2010 Hurricane Fly 6 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2011 Unaccompanied 4 Paul Townend Dermot Weld
2012 Hurricane Fly 8 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2013 Hurricane Fly 9 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lamb, Jessica. "Leopardstown signs festival deal with Ryanair". racingpost.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 

See also[edit]