Leopardstown Racecourse and international recruitment firm ersg have announced the sponsorship of one of the feature races in the Irish horse racing calendar.
The ersg Arkle Novice Steeplechase will take place on Saturday 1st February as part of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.
Next year’s Festival takes place on the 1st and 2nd of February 2020. The festival features eight Grade 1 races with leading horses, jockeys and trainers from the UK and Ireland competing in National Hunt racing at its finest.
Dublin Racing Festival will once again be increasing the prize funds for the races to a total of €2,125,000 over the weekend. All Grade 1 races will have a prize fund of €150,000 or more and the minimum level of prize money for any race is €100,000.
This will be the third staging of the Festival and already it has established itself as one of the highlights of the Winter season and a full dress rehearsal for the Magners Cheltenham Festival which takes place six weeks later.
The Grade 1 ersg Arkle Novice Chase has a role of honour second to none. First run as a Grade 1 event in 2002, subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kicking King was successful for trainer Tom Taaffe and Barry Geraghty just two years later. Willie Mullins had won that inaugural running with the Ruby Walsh-ridden Assessed and he was also successful with Missed That, ridden by David Casey, in 2006 and the Paul Townend-ridden Golden Silver in 2009.
Mullins won the race with superstars Un De Sceaux and Douvan, with Walsh in the saddle, in 2015 and 2016 respectively and was successful with the celebrated Footpad and Paul Townend in 2018. Jessica Harrington and Henry De Bromhead are the other trainers to have won the race on more than one occasion.
“Being Irish myself, I am personally delighted to be sponsoring the Dublin Racing Festival in Leopardstown.,” said ersg CEO Jim Ryan.
“This is the third year ersg, as a business, have attended the Festival and following the announcement of our new office in Dublin in October we felt this was the right time to show our support to the local area.”
“We are delighted to welcome ersg as a partner at Leopardstown,” added Vicki Donlon, Marketing and Sponsorship Manager at the racecourse.
“It is through the support of our sponsors and Horse Racing Ireland that the Dublin Racing Festival has established itself so prominently in the National Hunt calendar and that prize money can once again be raised.”
“We hope that this will further strengthen the quality and breadth of the runners over the weekend. We are very grateful for ersg’s generous support and we look forward to making this a very successful partnership.”
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Image Credit: Leopardstown Racecourse