If you know Paddy, you know there’s nothing we love more than the Cheltenham Festival – spice bags have to settle for second place in my heart.
But just in case you were in any doubt about our affections, we’ve only gone and arranged another cracking sponsorship deal for a huge race at the festival in 2021!
That’s right, we’re sticking, ahem, my name on the Festival Plate Handicap Chase on day three of The Festival on Thursday 18th March, taking our tally of races across the four-day meeting to three, as the Grade 3 Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase joins both the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle and the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase in our stable of Cheltenham contests.
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And it should be a smashing race as it’s usually one of the most competitive on the day three schedule – and goes off right after the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.
In case you missed it, the 2019 renewal created a piece of history when Lizzie Kelly became the first female jockey to win the 2m 4f handicap on the Nick Williams-trained Siruh Du Lac. And you need a mighty horse to win a Cheltenham handicap as The Storyteller exhibited on Sunday when runner-up in the top-class Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup, having landed this heat in 2018.
It’s also worth noting for punters that six-time champion trainer Nicky Henderson also has a particularly good record in the race and with four victories – The Tsarevich (1985, 1986), Liberthine (2005) and Non So (2006). That makes him the joint-most successful trainer in the race along with legendary names Bobby Renton and Martin Pipe.
This is the latest legendary link-up between Cheltenham Racecourse and yours truly, which also includes the iconic Paddy Power Gold Cup at The November Meeting.
And we’re honoured to be supporting this prestigious race which was first run 70 years ago and it now creates a phenomenal Paddy Power double-header on the Cheltenham Thursday, together with the Stayers’ Hurdle.
We felt the Paddy Power Plate was the perfect addition to our Festival portfolio and Cheltenham agreed.
Ian Renton, Regional Managing Director for The Jockey Club, added: “We are delighted to further extend our association at The Festival with Paddy Power.
“The Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase is a race with a rich history and a knack for producing not only excellent chasers but also a storyline or two.
“Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable have been great sponsors of this race for the past six years and with them switching to support the Grade 1 Novices’ Chase we’re looking forward to this exciting new association with Paddy Power.”
Roll on Cheltenham, we’re licking our lips in Power Tower/at home.
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