Lexus ends backing of Leopardstown Grade 1
Leopardstown's Christmas festival has been dealt a blow after a decision by car company Lexus to discontinue its sponsorship of the meeting's marquee Grade 1 chase after 13 years.
The prestigious three-mile event will not have a sponsor on December 28 and will be called the Leopardstown Christmas Chase, though the €150,000 prize-money pool will not be affected. Up until 2004 the race was known as the Ericsson Chase.
Pat Keogh, chief executive of Leopardstown, said: "We have had 13 fantastic years with Lexus. It was something that worked really well for them and worked really well for us.
"We were all delighted with how well it worked and there have been some fantastic runnings over the race in the last 13 years."
He added: "I'm obviously disappointed but these things happen and it will be a great opportunity for somebody else to come on board in 2018. The new sponsor will be coming in with a blank canvas."
Beef Or Salmon (2004, 2005), Denman (2007), Synchronised (2011), Tidal Bay (2012) and Bobs Worth (2013) were among the illustrious winners of the race over the 13 years of Lexus' backing.