On Bank Holiday Monday, Naas Racecourse hosts the €300,000 Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes, the feature of the Co Kildare track’s 7-race card.
Among the two contenders attempting to claim the €150,000 first prize for the richest race of the year at Naas Racecourse, will be five British-trained runners.
Entry to the race meeting will be free on Monday, courtesy of Ballyhane Stud, and racegoers will also have the opportunity to win the trip of a lifetime to the Rugby World Cup in France.
A classy renewal of the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes which has attracted the Willie Mullins-trained Royal Ascot winner Vauban, is an interesting back-up race to Monday’s feature.
Two of Willie Mullins’ former stars, Hurricane Fly, Faugheen and Briar Hill will be joined by Masterson and Bonita Bay as part of a Treo Eile parade of retired racehorses following the second race on the card.
In a race that features two horses making their competitive debut, Innvincible Friend is the most experienced runner in the line-up with Monday being his seventh racecourse start, and will be the mount of Séamus Heffernan.
Kevin Ryan has confirmed Jungle Mate, one of two runners for owners the Bronte Collection, with the Hugo Palmer-trained Golden Trick also representing those connections.
Alice Haynes has booked Chris Hayes for Shayekh, while Karl Burke will saddle That’s For Sure.
Last year’s winning trainer and jockey Joseph O’Brien and Declan McDonogh will combine with Gold Coast Galleon, while Ger Lyons is double-handed courtesy of Ragga Bomb and Simplexity, the latter being the mount of champion jockey Colin Keane.
Sheila Lavery will have three chances in the €300,000 contest with Kortez Bay, Glamora and the newcomer Vestigia.
Monday will also see the return of apprentice jockey Wesley Joyce. The Moyross native suffered serious injuries in a fall at Galway just over 12 months ago and will complete a spectacular comeback when partnering the Johnny Murtagh-trained course and distance winner Wave Machine in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap.
There will be a Rugby and Racing panel with Kevin O’Ryan previewing the racing and Hugh Cahill along with former Ireland international Bernard Jackman and current Munster coach Mike Prendergast will look ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
Twenty lucky racegoers will be assigned a horse each in the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes and the person linked with the winner of the feature race will win a two-night package with return flights, hotel transfers, hotel B&B, pre-match lunch and tickets for Ireland v South Africa.
The Grand Slam and Six Nations trophies won by Ireland this year will also be at Naas on Monday.
The first race of the day will be off at 2.15pm.