NAAS Racecourse will stage the Paddy Power Festival Trials Day on Sunday, February 26th and the fixture is set to continue its rich tradition of providing a stepping stone for many stars preparing for festival glory.
The feature race on the day is the Onside App Novice Hurdle and Willie Mullins’ star mare and last year’s Champion Hurdle winner, Annie Power, is a previous winner of this race. This novice hurdle has also been won by Go Native and Felix Yonger. Last year Jessica Harrington’s Don’t Touch It finished third before going on to win the Grade 1 Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.
Last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack is another graduate of Festival Trials Day at Naas along with other high profile Gigginstown House Stud horses such as Outlander and Empire Of Dirt who are both leading contenders for the Cheltenham Festival.
The Grade 3 We Show All Live Racing Chase is another stand-out race on the card where previously Cause Of Causes lined up prior to winning the Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season. This race was also previously won by local trainer Ted Walsh with Seabass before his gallant effort in the Aintree Grand National.
The concluding Paddy Power Track My Bet Flat Race is not one to be missed as the Grade 1 winner Killultagh Vic, who beat Thistecrack over hurdles, is a previous winner. The winners' bumper is once again likely to be used by trainers preparing horses for both the Grade 1 Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals.
Racegoers on the day will be able to enjoy a Cheltenham Preview with a twist throughout the day. Interviews with a number of trainers, jockeys and owners that hope to taste success at the Cheltenham Festival will take place as well as talks with trainer Gordon Elliott about his life in racing and life in the build up to Cheltenham.
Tom Ryan, manager at Naas Racecourse commented: “The endless list of high class graduates from the Paddy Power Festival Trials Meeting over the years speaks for itself. We are really excited to see the entries next week and in conjunction with Paddy Power we look forward to welcoming a huge crowd on the day.”
Adult admission to Naas Racecourse is €15 with a complimentary €5 bet included. The first race is 2.20pm and the build up to Cheltenham interviews will kick off at 1.40 with Gordon Elliott and Kevin O'Ryan.