With the eyes of the National Hunt fraternity now firmly focused on the build up to the Cheltenham Festival in March and the Punchestown National Hunt Festival in May, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing is launching a new and exciting point to point incentive for the 2011 season. ITM plans to provide a €400 bonus to the winner of every 4yo maiden run in Ireland from February 6th up to and including April 30th. The scheme culminates with a high profile race-day at the Meath & Tara point to point at Tattersalls Farm on Sunday 1st May. The race schedule will feature a 4yo point to point open to maiden and winners over 2 ½ miles and also two 5yo maidens, one over 3 miles and the other over 2 ½ miles, putting the emphasis firmly on young potential high class horses. The winner of the 4yo race named the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Future Champions Race (for the John Fowler memorial trophy) will receive a €5,000 bonus (or part thereof if the race divides).
That same evening after the point to point, Tattersalls Ireland will host a select sale of point to pointers and horses in training at their facility adjacent to the track. The race-day and sale precede the Punchestown National Hunt Festival and Goffs Bloodstock Sales are also renewing their Punchestown NH Sale which will take place on Thursday May 5th at the track. ITM will be working hard to entice a number of key NH buyers from the UK to attend both these exciting sales.
It is hoped the 4yo series and race-day will serve as a shop window for Irish bloodstock and will promote Irish point to points as the premier nursery for embryonic top class steeplechasers. According to Michael O’Hagan, Chief Executive of ITM; “Irish Point to Points are the grass roots of Irish steeple-chasing and they continue to unearth some of jumps racings brightest stars, horses like Imperial Commander, Peddlers Cross, Pandorama and many more. ITM’s association with this series will help us promote these potential stars throughout the season.”