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Paddy Power offering £100k to any British-trained Grade One winner at Punchestown

07 Apr 2021
Jon Vine 07 Apr 2021
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  • Paddy Power announced they are offering a £100K incentive to British trainers ahead of the Punchestown Festival
  • This five-day meeting kicks off at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th April
  • 12 Grade One races will be staged during the week
  • The bookmakers will give a bonus to any British-trained winner of a Grade One at Punchestown
buveur d'air punchestown
Nicky Henderson's Buveur D'Air winning the Punchestown Champion Hurdle in 2019. (Getty)

After Ireland wiped the floor with Britain at this year's Cheltenham Festival, the inquest into where British racing is going wrong has been ongoing. 
Trainers have lamented the lack of prize money in Britain, which has caused many top owners to send their best horses to Ireland. Journalists and senior figures within horse racing have pushed the blame towards trainers, claiming they needed to run their best horses more often, even if that means running them against their stablemates.

The final major meeting of the National Hunt season takes place at Punchestown later this month. 12 Grade One prizes will be up for grabs during the Punchestown Festival, and bookmakers Paddy Power announced this week that they'll give any British-trained winner of a Grade One a massive £100k bonus.

"We gave the Brits a beating at Cheltenham and now we're laying down a challenge to the tune of £100k – come and have a go if you think you're good enough." said Paddy Power's spokesman, Paddy Power.

"Honeysuckle blew her rivals away last month and will be well fancied for the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown but now there's an extra cash incentive for any British raider who thinks they can dethrone the queen."

Honeysuckle (third right, near) beating Epatante and Goshen (left) in the Champion Hurdle. (Getty)

The intention of this incentive may simply have been to rub extra salt in the gaping wounds from Cheltenham. It should, however, be enough to tempt more trainers into shipping their horses over to Ireland at the end of the month.

Nicky Henderson said after Cheltenham that Epatante will take on Honeysuckle again, having finished third behind her rival in the Champion Hurdle. Garry Moore also confirmed today that Goshen will make his first trip over to Ireland for the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.

"He's grand and goes to Ireland," Moore confirmed. "We'll put a line through Cheltenham and not go there again. He hates the place. He isn't a bad horse but he just doesn't like going left-handed."

Colin Tizzard sent Reserve Tank over to Ireland to win the Champion Novice Hurdle a couple of years ago, and he could throw Fiddlerontheroof into the Champion Novice Chase. Paul Nicholls' Next Destination is another possible for that Grade One, where Monkfish and Envoi Allen could clash for the first time.

While it's highly unlikely any British runners will enter either the Punchestown Gold Cup or their version of the Champion Chase, entrants are expected in the three-mile Novices' Hurdle, and maybe even the Champion Stayers' Hurdle.


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