Racing takes place today at Thurles and champion British trainer Nicky Henderson has kindly demonstrated the power of incentives and opportunity cost. Henderson will have his first runner ever at the Tipperary track today when Une Artiste takes to the course at 14.15 in the Grade Two Mares Novice Chase.
Henderson’s decision to bring the horse to Ireland has been driven primarily by the large difference in prize money on offer between Ireland and Britain (previously addressed here), with the trainer going on record as saying “She could have run at Newbury for £2,700, or go to Ireland and run for more than €30,000”.
Top prize money on offered in Britain today is just £12,512 (€15,000 approx). Thurles has two more lucrative races of €24,375 & €34,125 respectively. It therefore makes economic sense for Henderson to bring Une Artiste to Ireland. In fact, given the divergence in prize money particularly during midweek, this trend will likely continue in the future.
Henderson himself admitted that “[I've] never been to Thurles”. Fortunately for those planning to back Une Artiste, the trainer continued “but Barry (Geraghty, jockey) knows his way round." Thank god for that.