The Istabraq Festival Hurdle is held each year during the Christmas Festival at the Leopardstown Racecourse in Ireland. It is a Grade 1 National Hunt race for four year olds and over, and is run over a distance of 2 miles with eight hurdles to be jumped.
First held in 1986, it was recognised as a Grade 1 race in 2002 and is often seen as a trial for the season's pinnacle of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival in March. In fact two horses have won the December Festival Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle in the same season, they are Brave Inca and Istabraq.
In terms of betting, recent trends show that four of the last five December Festival Hurdle winners have been aged 7 or 8 years of age. The ante-post odds favourite for the race has won only once in the past five races.
|2000||Moscow Flyer||6||Jessica Harrington|
|2002||Liss A Paoraigh||7||John Kiely|
|2003||Golden Cross||4||Michael Halford|
|2004||Macs Joy||5||Jessica Harrington|
|2005||Brave Inca||7||Colm Murphy|
|2006||Brave Inca||8||Colm Murphy|
|2007||Al Eile||7||John Queally|
|2010||Hurricane Fly||6||Willie Mullins|
|2012||Hurricane Fly||8||Willie Mullins|
|Result||Leopardstown - 29th Dec 2012||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Hurricane Fly 1/5F||8||R Walsh||W Mullins|
|2nd||Unaccompanied 6/1||5||D Russell||D Weld|
Odds will appear here when available...
The December Festival Hurdle is seen as a trial for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival in March and you are sure to see several horses racing at Leopardstown and Cheltenham.
The Champion Hurdle is the highest rated race for hurdlers and takes place on the first day of the festival. Previous winner of both the December Festival Hurdle include Brave Inca and Istabraq....
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