Updated: Jul 26
A short history
Open to horses aged five years or older, and run over a distance of more than three miles, the Grand Steeplechase started life as a handicap in 1874. Losing its handicap status, and transferring to a weight-for-age system in 1890, the race now takes in twenty three obstacles, with horses competing for a total prize pot of €850,000. Three have won the race on three occasions, and ten on two occasions (most recently Louisa Carberry's Docteur De Ballon in 2020 and 21). The ten-race card is day two of two for the Grand Steeplechase meeting at Auteuil, which also sees racing on Saturday.
What happened in 2023's edition?
With a strong contingent of Irish raiders (including last year's Grand National winner, Noble Yeats), native entries had a raft of competition as they looked to secure the event once more. There hasn't been a foreign-trained winner since 1962, though the most recent foreign jockey to win the event was Davey Russell in 2019, and 2023's race when the way of Daniela Mele-trained Rosario Baron, ridden by Johnny Charron, who also took last year's contest on Sel Jem. On Saturday, the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil (French Champion Hurdle) was taken by Thélème, who saw of Irish entries that included Hewick, Flooring Porter and Asterion Forlonge.