NATIONAL HUNT RACE WEEK, PUNCHESTOWN APRIL 20th – 24th Well, Cheltenham is just over so it’s time to look at what Punchestown has to offer.
Considered the grande finale of the jump season with top class horses, trainers and jockeys from both sides of the Irish sea competing for honours and settling scores, this year’s programme includes Grade 1 races and of course, the famous La Touche Cup, always a favourite with the home crowd.
Tuesday, 20th April - Kerrygold Champion Steeplechase
Wednesday, 21st April - Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup
Thursday, 22nd April - Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle
Friday, 23rd April - Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Saturday, 24th April - Ballymore Champion 4 year old Hurdle
Live Entertainment The entertainment package at the Festival is second to none, with the main stage hosting a variety of live music, children's entertainment, fashion shows, best dressed finals and expert betting panels.
As you make your way around the racecourse and through the many restaurants and bars, you will come across live street theatre with jugglers, stilt walkers and mime artists. The après racing music throughout the pavilions, bars and public areas is always a crowd pleaser. You have been warned – bring your dancing shoes! Already, Friday’s corporate bookings are full – not surprising with several excellent group packages available (€29 per person for group of 10 or more)
Best Dressed Ladies Competition
Glamour is an essential element of the Punchestown festival and while the racing superstars go head to head on the track, Ireland’s most stylish ladies will be decked out in daft feathers and sexy summer numbers (even though the weather leans more towards the thermals than the Tropics)
What will The Perfectos be at this year? Jackie O’Neill could set up her own tipster stand, seein’ as she cleaned up last year… and I hear Bill McCormack is locking the gates at 11pm, with strict instructions that no “mad ones from Ballymore are allowed in..”
I thought we leant a bit of class to Mc’s last year but I’m not sure The V Man will take our booking this year!!! More details next in next month’s edition – Rose
Walking Sunday, 2pm on18 April @ Punchestown
Walking Sunday will take place this year on 18 April at Punchestown Racecourse, sponsored by Sherry Fitzgerald O’Reilly, Naas, who are delighted to continue supporting this traditional precursor to National Hunt Raceweek.
Walking The Track
Such is the excitement about the annual Punchestown Festival that, for over 100 years, locals have walked the track to inspect the course and jumps in an effort to predict the form for the races. Attendance had been dwindling until 2007 when Sherry Fitzgerald O’Reilly began their sponsorship and revival of local interest in the event which has grown year on year with over 4,000 people attending in 2009.
The Millbrook Cup
Many businesses and organisations have joined in their support of this great family day out. As well as the 2.2mile walk around the track, the Millbrook Cup cross country race and a fun run, there will be a competition prize draw with great prizes, fun dog show classes, fancy dress competitions, a carnival, goody bags for early starters, children’s walking certificates, doggy rosettes for dogs that walk the course and much, much more.
Punchestown’s newly refurbished Dobbins Restaurant will open for light refreshments and the Festival Ticket Office also open. The fun kicks off at 2pm, admission is free, and walkers, joggers, runners and dogs of all ages are welcome to come along and join in the fun!
See local press for a full programme of events or contact Sherry Fitzgerald O’Reilly on 045-866466.
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To celebrate National Hunt Raceweek, The Ballymore Eustace Punchestown Festival Committee will be hosting the following events in conjunction with K Fest:
· Children’s Fancy Dress & Party,
· Art Competition at Soil Mhuire and Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa
· CowGals and Cowboys host a Mega PIG ON A SPIT @ Murphy’s Marquee
(profits in aid of the local Senior Citizen’s Association)
· Local Artist’s Exhibition - Full details in April’s Bugle!