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Festival off to flyer with lucrative clash

By Frank Brownlow

Published 22/10/2016

Festival fever: Down Royal General Manager Mike Todd (right) and Brendan Loughran, representing sponsors WKD, toast next month’s Festival of Racing
Festival fever: Down Royal General Manager Mike Todd (right) and Brendan Loughran, representing sponsors WKD, toast next month’s Festival of Racing

A €50,000 prize fund has been confirmed for the big WKD Hurdle on day one of the Down Royal Festival of Racing.

The Grade 2 WKD Hurdle - on Friday, November 4 - has attracted a wealth of talent over the years, including the legendary AP McCoy, with last year's race won by record-breaking jockey Bryan Cooper on Identity Thief.

Mike Todd, General Manager at Down Royal, said: "The Festival of Racing is just around the corner and we're delighted to confirm a €50,000 prize fund for the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle.

"Attracting such a high calibre of entrants, the Grade 2 Hurdle is always an action-packed race and a highlight of the Festival.

"In recent years, Down Royal has established itself not only as a premier sporting destination in Northern Ireland but also the venue of choice for corporate and social days out alike.

"Our first class facilities, coupled with some of the most exhilarating horse racing in Ireland, sees thousands of racegoers from across the country flock to the Festival, which this year will take place on November 4 and 5.

"Down Royal has a long standing partnership with WKD and we're delighted to have them on board again, particularly as the brand celebrates its 20th anniversary and unveils a new look."

• The legendary Moscow Flyer - a Down Royal Festival winner with a suite named in his honour at the venue - has died aged 22 after suffering from colic.

The two-time Champion Chaser won 26 of his 44 starts, including 10 Grade Ones, between 1999 and 2006.

"He was the horse of a lifetime," said trainer Jessica Harrington last night.

Belfast Telegraph

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