Leopardstown's Christmas meeting may be just around the corner, but the festive cheer will continue right through to February after the two mile Ladbrokes Dublin Chase received elevation to Grade 1 status and a €25,000 prize-money boost.
Formerly known as the Tied Cottage Chase when staged at Punchestown, the race, now worth €125,000, was run for the first time at the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival last year as a Grade 2 and the elevation brings the number of Grade 1s run across the two-day meeting on February 2 and 3 to eight.
Pat Keogh, Leopardstown chief executive, said: “The Dublin Racing Festival caters for every type of top level horse and the two mile chase division is always very exciting. We’re delighted with the upgrade and the increase in prize-money for the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase.
“That means that there will be eight Grade 1s split evenly across the two days which will be hugely exciting.”
With such riches on offer, Leopardstown will be hoping for increased participation from British trainers at the fixture after only five horses made the journey across the Irish Sea last season.
“There’s nothing people like more than seeing the Irish taking on the British, and I think that’s true with all sports," Keogh added.
“I think the increased prize-money across the board will be an incentive for more people to come but at the moment there is huge strength in depth in Irish racing.
“We will continue to talk to British trainers about competing here and if you look at the value of the races at the Dublin Racing Festival, and especially with the value of the Euro when it’s converted to Sterling, it looks an attractive proposition to travel.”