National now richest jumps race in Ireland
Rogue Angel winner of the 2016 Irish Grand National
(Healy Racing Photos) The BoyleSports Irish Grand National received a huge boost in prize money when it was announced today that the value of the race at Fairyhouse Racecourse will rise from €275,000 to €500,000, meaning that the winner of the 2017 renewal will receive more than the total prize fund from this year’s race.
Irish bookmaking firm, BoyleSports, which has sponsored the iconic race since 2014, has renewed its sponsorship for a further three years. They will also continue to provide an on-course betting shop at the venue.
With increased funding from Horse Racing Ireland and Fairyhouse Racecourse itself, the landmark ‘Race of the People’ now becomes the most valuable Irish Jumps race and the third biggest in terms of prize money between Ireland and Britain.
Next year’s race will take place on Easter Monday, 17th April 2017. The Fairyhouse Easter Festival is RTÉ’S most-watched Irish racing programme.
Fairyhouse General Manager, Peter Roe, said: “We are very happy that this globally renowned race with such a long and illustrious history is now truly a huge rival to the greatest National Hunt races.
"The €500,000 prize fund places us up there with the likes of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and will definitely attract more and more of the best horses out there, as well as greater crowds especially from Britain.
"We are delighted that an Irish firm like BoyleSports are renewing their sponsorship with us for a further three years and are matching our ambition. We are thrilled to work with a partner who is keen to support our fast paced industry and use this platform as part of their growth strategy over the coming years.”
Jenna Boyle, Director of Retail at BoyleSports, said: "We are delighted not only to continue our sponsorship of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National but to help make this the most valuable event in the Irish racing calendar.
"Irish owners do not need any incentive to take part in this iconic event but the significantly-increased sponsorship will add to the international prestige of the event, and in particular, should assist in attracting more UK owners across the Irish Sea in their pursuit of winning the jewel in the crown of the Irish National Hunt calendar, the BoyleSports Irish Grand National."
Chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, Joe Keeling: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a big statement for Fairyhouse and a testament to the team there.”
Champion Irish National Hunt Trainer, Willie Mullins: “It’s not been the luckiest race for me over the years. Hopefully we can change that now that it has really, really decent prize-money. I’m delighted to see that.”
Trainer Noel Meade: “It’s fantastic news. It’s one of our most famous races, maybe our most famous Jump race. There has been a lot of emphasis on the handicaps in Cheltenham and horses had started to drift over there, leaving only one way to bring the race back up and that was to increase prize money.”