©Healy Racing Photos
Punchestown racecourse and the Amateur Riders Association have announced that the Historic Conyngham Cup is to be known as the Amateur National.
Following a discussion with the Amateur Riders Association of Ireland it was felt that the Conyngham Cup would benefit from a change of date and as a result has been moved from an evening meeting in May to become one of the feature races on the first meeting of the year at Punchestown this Saturday.
After further consultation with the Amateur Riders Association it was agreed that the Conyngham Cup would be ideal as the Amateur National in Ireland. Champion amateur rider and Amateur Riders Association Chairman Patrick Mullins explains “the idea for an Amateur National came from the concept of having a corresponding jumps race for the Amateur Derby that was introduced at the Curragh about five years ago. Historically the Conyngham Cup race was the highlight of the season for amateur riders and the intention is to recreate that status by introducing an Amateur National”.
The Conyngham Cup boasts an impressive role of honour with current champion jockey Davy Russell and eight times champion jockey Ruby Walsh along with Enda Bolger, Gordon Elliott and Jamie Codd featuring amongst the winning riders. However it was Harry Beasley that really made his name in the Conyngham Cup winning the race a total of six times and competing in it until the ripe old age of 72 years in 1923!
The Conyngham Cup is one of the oldest races in the Irish racing calendar and was first run in 1854.