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02nd Feb 2021

Ward link with The Irish Arkle lives on for the Dublin Racing Festival

Lloyd Murphy

Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors have been announced as Sponsors of the Irish Arkle.

The Ward family has a long association with The Arkle having first sponsored the race in 2010 with the Henry de Bromhead trained An Cathaoir Mor winning on that occasion. Previous winners include Douvan, Un De Sceaux, Flemenstar, and Footpad.

One of the showpiece events on the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival, the Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase was first run as a Grade 1 event in 2002, and two years later the subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kicking King was successful for trainer Tom Taaffe and rider Barry Geraghty.

The late Frank Ward and Rich Ricci after Douvan’s win in the 2016 Arkle.

The late Frank Ward was a huge character amongst the racing fraternity and a great supporter of the game and his son Patrick will continue the sponsorship, a great legacy, and tribute to Frank.

“My family and I are delighted to continue the long association that we have had with the Irish Arkle Novice Chase. We have very fond memories of many great racing days over all the years the late Frank sponsored the race. The racing was always followed by great fun and a sing-song till we wore our welcome out! Whilst this year will of course be different, Leopardstown Racecourse have organised a fantastic feast of racing over the weekend and I hope it brings the country some much-needed excitement and entertainment. Thank you to Leopardstown Racecourse, the staff in Patrick Ward & Co., and to all our friends & clients. We are delighted to once again have the Ward family name on the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown. Anyway overall the long and short of it is let’s enjoy some quality racing!”

Footpad winning the 2018 Arkle.

This year’s renewal of the Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase is shaping up to be a cracker. Willie Mullin’s Energumene currently sits on top of the market with some impressive displays this year. Other early entries include Captain Guinness, Unexcepted, Andy Dufresne, Franco De Port, Felix Desjy, and Darver Star.

Tim Husbands CEO of Leopardstown commented: “The association of the Ward family and the Irish Arkle go hand in hand, we are delighted that Patrick is to continue this partnership with Leopardstown. Many will remember the late Frank Ward, Patrick’s father who was a great supporter of Irish Racing and a good friend to Leopardstown, he owned many horses over the years and served on the board of Leopardstown and the Tote. We are delighted that Patrick is to continue the family partnership with Leopardstown. The Patrick Ward & Company Irish Arkle Novice Chase has attracted a superb entry, from all the leading yards and we expect another thrilling renewal of the race.”