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Thursday, January 15, 2004



THE LEXUS CHASE IS NEW FEATURE RACE AT LEOPARDSTOWN




Lexus Ireland Confirms 3-Year Sponsorship

Leopardstown Racecourse is delighted to announce a new and prestigious sponsorship agreement with Lexus Ireland that will see the premium car marque sponsoring the Feature Race on Day 3 of the Christmas Festival. The sponsorship agreement, which runs from 2004 to 2006 inclusive, means that the famous 150,000 race will from now on be known as The Lexus Chase.


The announcement was made at a reception at Leopardstown Racecourse today (Wednesday 14th January 2004). Special guests at the reception were Jim and Valerie Lewis, owners of this year's champion, Best Mate (and Lexus owners themselves), who flew in especially for the event.

The Lexus Chase is the highlight of the Christmas Festival and a perfectly timed form indicator for the Tote Gold Cup at Cheltenham. The race was previously known as the Ericsson Chase.


Commenting on the announcement today Dr. Tim Mahony, Chairman of Lexus Ireland, said: "We are delighted with this sponsorship of The Lexus Chase. We have been looking for the right racing sponsorship for some time and when this Chase became available we jumped at the opportunity. This is one of the premium steeplechases in the country, passionately followed by a large and knowledgeable audience. Having been raised to Grade 1 status in 2002, we felt that it was the perfect fit for Lexus.


"Our intention with this sponsorship is to build on the foundation of previous Lexus racing sponsorships and to be involved over the long term. The figures recently released by Horse Racing Ireland back up our belief that racing is successful, buoyant and ever growing. Maybe more importantly for us, national hunt racing is passionately followed in Ireland. Therefore we see it as fitting with our plans for Lexus in Ireland. Finding this race in Leopardstown also provides us with the opportunity to bring our customers to a sociable and glamorous occasion."

Lexus Ireland has initially signed a three-year sponsorship agreement covering the period of 2004 to 2006 inclusive, guaranteeing a minimum prize fund of 150,000. Lexus Ireland, both through its personnel and directly, has a long-standing involvement in Irish Racing and is committed to further growing and developing The Lexus Chase into the future. The event will also provide a platform for the company to entertain Lexus customers at what is undoubtedly one of the sporting and social highlights of the year.

Lexus Ireland's Chairman, Dr. Tim Mahony, is an avid follower and patron of horse racing in Ireland. Dr. Mahony is the owner of the well-known breeding and stallion farm, Ballylinch Stud home of the legendry Tetrarch and part of the Mount Juliet estate. Lexus Ireland has been involved in race sponsorship in the past, previously sponsoring the Tetrarch Stakes in the Curragh in the mid-1990s for a period of four years, followed by sponsorship of the 2000 Guineas, again at the Curragh.

Matthew O'Dwyer, General Manager of Leopardstown, said: "We are delighted with our new partnership with such a prestige brand as Lexus. This race is a cornerstone of the national hunt season, and is one the premier feature races in Leopardstown's calendar. There are many synergies between both Lexus and Leopardstown, and I am confident that we will build a fruitful and successful association with The Lexus Chase into the future."
Previous winners of the race include: Best Mate 2003; Beef of Salmon 2002; Foxchapel King 2001; and Rince Ri 1999 and 2000.


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