Irish and UK Racing Preview: The Futurity awaits at Doncaster and it’s Showcase time at Cheltenham

Will Reilly looks at this week’s key racing

This week’s main Irish and UK racing (Wednesday 24 to Sunday 28 October):

It’s another superb week for racing on both sides of the Irish Sea, with Leopardstown set to stage another valuable card on Saturday, Dundalk’s Friday-night fixture including yet another €50,000+ race, Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting taking place on Saturday and Sunday and Doncaster staging one of the top two-year-old races of the year.


**Don’t forget that the clocks go back by one hour on Saturday night**

This week’s main Irish racing


Navan (1:35pm), a flat card.

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Thurles (2pm), a flat card.


Dundalk (6pm, or 5:30pm if a race divides), featuring the €55,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cooley Fillies Stakes, a Listed Race. It will be the fifth-successive week that Dundalk has staged a race worth €50,000 or more on a Friday night.


Galway (2:05pm), a National Hunt card; day one of a three-day meeting at the track. The feature race is a €27,000 two-mile handicap hurdle.

Leopardstown (1:25pm), a flat card that includes the €63,000 Group Three Eyrefield Stakes (nine furlongs), the €50,000 October Handicap (12 furlongs), the €47,000 Knockaire Stakes (a Listed Race, seven furlongs) and a €32,500 nursery handicap (seven furlongs)


Galway (12:35pm), a flat card that features the €20,000 Kone Handicap (one mile)

Wexford (12:20pm), day one of a two-day meeting, a National Hunt card that features the €28,500 2m7f MW Hickey Memorial Chase (a Listed Race)

This week’s main British racing


At Worcester (1:50pm), the card stages races in memory of Richard Wright, Fred and Mercy Rimell, and Richard Davis

Newmarket (2pm), featuring the £40,000 British Stallion Studs EBF Nursery Handicap and a £20,000 fillies’ handicap (one mile)


Newbury (1:40pm), featuring the £50,000 British European Breeders’ Fund Conditions Stakes

Doncaster (1:50pm), featuring a £20,000 six-furlong handicap

Cheltenham (2pm), day one of the Showxase Meeting; a card that contains the £20,000 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2m5f), the £25,000 Novices’ Chase (2m) and a £25,000 novices’ chase


Cheltenham (2pm), where the Showcase Meeting continues with a card carrying £240,000 in prize-money. The main races, both worth £60,000, are the Handicap Chase that opens the day and the Randox Health Handicap Chase at 3:10pm

Doncaster (1:45pm), card that plays host to one of the main two-year-old races of the season, the £200,000 Group One Vertem Futurity Stakes (formerly the Racing Post Trophy), the £30,000 Doncaster Stakes (a Listed Race, 6f), a £45,000 five-furlong handicap and a £30,000 Optional Claiming Handicap

The Futurity Stakes has been won this century by subsequent Classic winner Saxon Warrior, Kingston Hill, Camelot, Authorized, Motivator, Brian Boru and High Chaparral, and multiple Group/Grade One-winner, St Nicholas Abbey

Entries for this year’s race include the well-backed Magna Grecia – second in the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on October 13th – and the progressive Japan and Norway, which are three of Aidan O’Brien’s eight initial entries for the mile contest. This year’s champion trainer in Britain, John Gosden, looks set to be represented by recent Newmarket winner, Turgenev

Newbury (1:40pm), a card that contains the £60,000 Group Three St Simon Stakes (3yo+, 12 furlongs), the £40,000 Group Three Horris Hill Stakes (for two-year-olds, 7f) and the £30,000 Listed Radley Stakes (two-year-olds, 7f)

Kelso (1:50pm), a card that contains the £25,000 EDF-ER Chase (3m2f)

They race on Saturday night at Kempton (5:45pm)


Aintree (12:40pm) stages its first meeting of the seas, a card that will feature the £80,000 Monet’s Garden Old Roan Handicap Chase (Grade 2) contain a £30,000 Veterans’ Handicap Chase and the £27,500 Racing UK Handicap Hurdle, while Wincanton (1pm) will stage the £26,800 Desert Orchid Silver Cup

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article