The JNwine.com Champion Chase is the first Grade 1 of the new National Hunt season in Ireland, open to horses aged five years or older. It is typically run at Down Royal over a distance spanning 3 miles where there are fifteen fences to be jumped.
The race was established just prior to the turn of the millennium back in 1999, where it was initially contested over 3 miles and 1 furlong. The last furlong was cut a year later, and was awarded Grade 1 status in 2002. Its sponsor – JNwine.com, have sponsored this race from the getgo.
This race - despite only having a small history, has help construct several horses preparations, on their way to becoming champions, and in some cases - legends.
Last year, Outlander became the first horse aged nine or older to win the JNwine.com Champion Chase since the great Kauto Star in 2010. It got the season off to a flyer for young jockey Jack Kennedy, who went onto have another successful campaign, including a hat-trick of wins at the Cheltenham Festival.