Ireland has produced some of the most extraordinary jumps horses in history. These legends have captivated fans and become favourites on online horse racing betting platforms. Among them, a select few stand out as contenders for the title of the greatest Irish-bred jumps horse of all time.

Read on, we explore the lives and achievements of seven remarkable horses: Arkle, Best Mate, Hurricane Fly, Istabraq, Dawn Run, Red Rum, and Tiger Roll.


Arkle is widely considered the greatest steeplechaser in history. Trained by Tom Dreaper and ridden by Pat Taaffe, Arkle’s dominance was unprecedented. He won three consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups (1964-1966) and was known for his remarkable stamina.

Arkle’s highest Timeform rating of 212 remains unmatched, symbolising his legendary status. His powerful performances and sheer talent have made Arkle the gold standard in jumps racing.

Best Mate

Best Mate was another outstanding Irish-bred steeplechaser. Trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden primarily by Jim Culloty, Best Mate also achieved the rare feat of winning three consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups (2002-2004).

Known for his consistency and calm demeanour, Best Mate’s victories brought joy to racing fans and solidified his place in the annals of jumps racing history. His ability to perform at the top level year after year exemplified his exceptional talent and determination.

Hurricane Fly

Hurricane Fly is celebrated for his incredible achievements in hurdling. Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh, Hurricane Fly won a record 22 Grade 1 races, including two Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham (2011 and 2013).

His agility, speed, and competitive spirit made him a dominant force in hurdle racing. Hurricane Fly’s consistency and longevity at the top level have earned him a special place among the greats of jumps racing.


Istabraq is also renowned for his dominance in the hurdling world. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Istabraq won three consecutive Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham (1998-2000). His smooth jumping style and powerful finishing kick made him a formidable competitor.

Istabraq’s record in major hurdle races and his ability to maintain peak performance over several seasons highlight his exceptional prowess and cement his legacy as one of the greatest hurdlers of all time.

Dawn Run

Dawn Run holds a unique place in racing history as the only horse to win both the Champion Hurdle (1984) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1986). Trained by Paddy Mullins, Dawn Run’s versatility and courage were unmatched.

Her Gold Cup victory, achieved with a dramatic late surge, remains one of the most memorable moments in jumps racing. Dawn Run’s extraordinary achievements and her ability to compete at the top level in both hurdling and chasing make her an iconic figure in the sport.

Red Rum

Foaled in 1965 and trained by Ginger McCain, Red Rum won the Grand National three times (1973, 1974, and 1977) and finished second twice. His incredible stamina and jumping ability made him a Grand National legend. Red Rum’s resilience and popularity transcended the sport, making him a household name and an enduring symbol of jumps racing excellence.

Tiger Roll

Tiger Roll has etched his name into racing history with his back-to-back Grand National victories in 2018 and 2019. Trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Davy Russell, Tiger Roll’s versatility has also seen him excel in other major races, including multiple Cheltenham Festival wins.

His tenacity, versatility, and affinity for the demanding Aintree course have drawn comparisons to the legendary Red Rum. Tiger Roll’s achievements have solidified his status as one of the modern era’s greatest jumps horses.