The popular Christmas Hunter Chase at Down Royal, which is traditionally held on December 26, will now take place nine days earlier than scheduled in a move brought about by the absence of crowds.
Won last year by the 25/1 shot Dylrow, the likes of Stand Up And Fight, Gilgamboa, Foxrock and Marito also feature among the race’s recent high-profile winners and it is often selected by handlers as a starting point for top Irish Hunter Chasers on their way to a Cheltenham Festival target.
Given the absence of crowds, this year’s race will now take place on Thursday December 17 as Horse Racing Ireland seek to reduce the number of fixtures on St Stephen’s Day from three to two, maximising the broadcast coverage and reducing industry staffing issues over the busy Christmas period.
The pre-Christmas Hunter Chase programme is now:
10/11/2020 Fairyhouse Not won under rules since 01/03/2020
10/11/2020 Fairyhouse Mares Maiden 5YO
10/11/2020 Fairyhouse Maiden Hunters Chase 5YO
17/12/2020 Down Royal Not won under rules since 01/03/2020
27/12/2020 Limerick Maiden Hunters Chase 5YO