Five of the best races from the Punchestown Festival

Faugheen and Ruby Walsh winning the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton 2015

Every Irish jump racing fan will be feeling the pang next week with the loss of the 2020 Punchestown festival due to the coronavirus. It has a rich history and below are ten of the most memorable races from the last three decades. Its return cannot come soon enough.

1989 – Carvill’s Hill at his brilliant best

Carvill’s Hill had something to prove when he came to Punchestown for the EBF Tattersalls Gold Cup after a frustrating campaign, epitomised by an early tumble in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It was always going to be a tough task carrying top weight but Carvill’s Hill showed his brilliant best to win.

1998 – McCoy excels on His Song

It could be argued Tony McCoy was at his peak in the spring of 1998 and his ride on the Mouse Morris-trained His Song to win the Grade 1 Country Pride Champion Novice Hurdle proved it. Through sheer force of will, McCoy galvanised a terrific rally from His Song to rally late on and win by a neck.

2002 – Magnificent seven for Risk Of Thunder

The Punchestown festival would not be what it is if not for the traditional banks races which dot the week, and no horse was more dominant in recent years than Risk Of Thunder, who won the 4m1f La touche Cup for a seventh time as a 13-year-old in 2002. He somehow held on from Ballyday Dazy after the last to win by a neck to raucous cheers from the crowd.

2012 – Quevega shows her class

Quevega was at the peak of her powers in 2012 when she landed the World Series Hurdle for the third straight year under Ruby Walsh, floating through heavy ground to win comfortably.

2018 – Faugheen not a done deal yet

Following a disappointing effort in the Champion Hurdle, Faugheen was stepped up in trip for the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers’ Hurdle and he bounced back to his scintillating best under David Mullins, beating his Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer by 13 lengths.

Let's talk about Safer Gambling
1st - 7th November 2021
National Gambling HelpLine: Call FREE 0800 020 1009