Ireland's leading bloodstock auctioneers, Goffs, has been confirmed as sponsor of the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park Racecourse in Co Kilkenny next month, January 2012, a Grade A contest which has grown to become one of Ireland's premier National Hunt races.
The Goffs Thyestes Chase will take place in Gowran Park on Thursday, 26th January 2012 and will see Ireland's top racehorses and jockeys compete for an €80,000 prize fund.
The highly competitive race is long recognised as one of the key highlights of the Irish National Hunt season and is regarded as a trial for the Aintree and Irish Grand Nationals. Previous winners include the famous Arkle in 1964 who is still fondly regarded as the best steeplechaser ever. Other big Thyestes Chase winners include Hedgehunter (2004), and Numbersixvalverde (2005).
The Goffs deal is the perfect match for Gowran as among its most memorable sales was of the famous Arkle, while among the more recent graduates of Goffs sales are Aintree Grand National winner Ballabriggs, Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Chase and Champion Hurdle winners Imperial Commander, Big Zeb and Hurricane Fly, as well as Grade 1 winners Captain Cee Bee, Pandorama and Peddlers Cross.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby
said: "The team at Goffs are proud to support a race of the calibre of the Thyestes Chase. Goffs is committed to supporting National Hunt racing in Ireland and this sponsorship, together with our significant point to point sponsorships and the Land Rover Bumper, is a prime example of that commitment and demonstrates our intention to grow our National Hunt Sales in 2012.
It has been a superb year for Goffs National Hunt both on the race track and in the sales ring, with increases across the board at our Land Rover and December NH Foal Sales as well as the unprecedented success of the first Punchestown Festival Sale, and the Goffs Thyestes day in January should provide an excellent platform to launch our 2012 campaigns for both sales."
Margaret Fogarty, General Manager of Gowran Park
said: "We are very pleased that an internationally-renowned player in the Irish bloodstock industry such as Goffs is supporting the work we do on the ground here in Gowran. This meeting is the highlight of our year, it's what we've been working towards for the past 12 months.
Goffs' support is a massive vote of confidence in Gowran Park and the long-term vision we have for this track, particularly in such a challenging economic climate. Punters choose to come here, year in year out and spend their money at a rural track. Like Goffs, we pride ourselves on our hands-on approach and are very much in tune with our loyal customers. This new partnership is a very significant moment in the history of Gowran Park and signifies the value of the Thyestes to the grassroots of the industry."
Previous Thyestes Chase winners have come from both very large, commercial training yards as well as family owned and run stables. The generous prize-fund will prove a major attraction again this year and entries for the race close on January 5. The weights will be confirmed on January 19th.
It is hoped that the card might once again include a new racing star who might go on to become yet another Irish or UK Grand National winner later this year, repeating the history of dual winners Arkle, Brown Lad, Hedgehunter and Numbersixvalverde.
Thyestes Day 2012 takes place on Thursday 26th January. The racecourse will open at 11am. Tickets are available at Gowran Park on the day, priced at €20 for adults and €15 for OAP/Students/Unemployed. All tickets include a free race card. Group discounts are available by contacting Gowran Park on 056 7726225.