Emotional scenes as 50-1 underdog Ellie Mac wins Leopardstown Christmas opener 3 years ago

Emotional scenes as 50-1 underdog Ellie Mac wins Leopardstown Christmas opener

Ellie Mac's win at Leopardstown should provide everyone with Christmas cheer.

The bookies didn't give the horse much of a chance, but on Day One of the Christmas Festival, 50-1 Ellie Mac rode home to victory.


Elli Mac beat  Cask Mate and Antey to claim the Horse & Jockey Hotel Maiden Hurdle, the very first race of the festival.

The horse is owned by the Niccolai Schuster Horse Racing Club, a club that's comprised of family and friends of Niccolai Schuster, who was one of six Irish students that died in the Berkley balcony tragedy in 2015.

John Schuster, Niccolai's father gave a heartwarming interview with RTE after Ellie Mac's victory.

"This is the greatest day of our lives since the tragedy. My son died in Berkley. He was a great racing fan and we decided at a party to put a racing club together and there was no shortage of neighbours, friends and we had support from all over the world."

Niccolai's mother Graziella also spoke of how much the festival meant to her son. Niccolai was an avid horse racing enthusiast who regularly attended the festival and she felt his presence as jockey Daniel Holden crossed the finish line atop Ellie Mac.


"Our beloved Niccolai went down on the balcony that day in Berkley – his favourite sport apart from football - which the red on the scarves is for Bayern Munich - was horseracing. He loved the Christmas festival here. He'd be here every day.  What a way to start. Him, he was on Daniel’s shoulders."