by Kevin O'Keefe
(United Kingdom )
Why was I Am Maximus allowed to run in the Drinmore Novice Chase when he'd won the Irish National last season?
Answer: I Am Maximus was allowed to run in the Drinmore Novice Chase in 2023 even though he had won the Irish National the previous season because he was still technically a novice chaser according to the rules of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee.
A novice chaser is a horse that has not won more than one Grade 3 or higher chase race over fences. The Irish National is a Grade 1 race, but it is not considered a chase race because it is run over a mixture of fences and hurdles. Therefore, I Am Maximus was still eligible to run in novice chases, even though he had won the Irish National.
This rule is designed to give younger horses a chance to compete against each other without being overshadowed by more experienced horses. It also helps to ensure that novice chases are competitive and exciting races.
Some people have criticized the rule that allows horses like I Am Maximus to run in novice chases, arguing that it is unfair to the other horses in the race. However, the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee has defended the rule, saying that it is important to give novice horses a chance to develop and progress.
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