Keogh: I can’t wait to see Min take on Identity Thief
Leopardstown racecourse manager Pat Keogh is counting down the hours until the track's Christmas festival kicks off, with the clash between Identity Thief and Min in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase taking centre stage on the opening day on Tuesday.
The Champion Hurdle sixth Identity Thief taking on the Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner-up Min promises to get the four-day Christmas festival off to an exciting start, with the pair unbeaten since switching to fences.
Keogh, who has been in charge at Leopardstown since August 2011, said: “I can’t wait to see Min take on Identity Thief in the Racing Post Novice Chase.
“Douvan will be a huge attraction in the Paddy Power Cashcard Chase on the 27th, and it would be great to see The Crafty Butcher getting into the Paddy Power Chase as well.
“It would be a fantastic story for racing with rugby stars Ian Madigan and Dominic Ryan involved in the syndicate.”
Many Clouds and Taquin Du Seuil will be the only British-trained runners to tackle the Lexus Chase, while Simply Ned is set for a clash with Douvan in the Paddy Power Cashcard Chase.
Nicky Henderson looks set on running Kotkikova in the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle, where the Willie Mullins-trained Nichols Canyon heads the betting.
Keogh was keen to emphasise his delight with the current shape of the Foxrock track as well as his aims for the festival.
He said: “The track is in cracking condition. There is rain forecast for the rest of the week, but I couldn’t be happier with the track at present.
“We are only half way through our redevelopment plan at present and, while facilities are better than they were, they are not where we want them just yet. We are trying to make Leopardstown as comfortable an experience for the racegoer as we possibly can.
“We're trying to make sure everybody who visits for the Christmas festival enjoys themselves and has a good time, but attendances are not the only barometer to measure the success of the festival.