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Punchestown News

Punchestown News: All-time record-breaking crowds at Punchestown 2016

Posted: 30th Apr 2016

• An all-time record breaking attendance of 114,438 at the five day Punchestown festival
• Ruby Walsh, Willie Mullins, Gigginstown House Stud, Patrick Mullins, Nina Carberry and Jack Kennedy all crowned champions for the season
Today, 30,035 attended the final day of the 2016 Punchestown Festival as the AES Family Day event took centre stage. Young racegoers and families came in their droves bringing the total attendance for the week to up to 114,438 that’s a remarkable increase of 14,709 on last year.

Here are some highlights of the week:
• Yorkhill was the first short priced favourite of the week to blow out in a race that saw Barry Geraghty winning on Don’t Touch It trained by Jessica Harrington for JP McManus in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle Grade 1 on Tuesday.

• The Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup was won in great style by Carlingford Lough for trainer John Kiely which saw top jockey Barry Geraghty praising the Waterford man’s training performance “What a trainer John Kiely is, this horse came from the clouds at Leopardstown.”

• Popular Cross Country veteran Uncle Junior retired from racing after finishing a noble 4th in the FBD Cross Country Steeplechase for the La Touche Cup on Thursday.

• A Nina Carberry and Enda Bolger combination saw an emotional reaction when On the Fringe won the Racing Post Champion Hunters Chase for JP McManus.

Dick O’Sullivan, General Manager at Punchestown Racecourse said “I am absolutely delighted with the week and our record-breaking attendance of 114,438. The racing was regarded by all as an amazing showcase of the best of a golden generation of Irish National Hunt Racing. Congratulations to all the HRI Championship winners especially Gigginstown as Michael O’Leary is a great sponsor here at Punchestown. Thanks to all who came along we are most grateful for your support, our overall attendance was up 14,709 on last year. I have a tremendous, enthusiastic team here that are so motivated, they did an amazing job despite difficult weather conditions at no stage were spirits dampened, they deserve this record-breaker. Needless to say the planning and organising for the 2017 Punchestown Festival will begin next week and we look forward to seeing you all back at Punchestown again next year.”

Attendance Figures Saturday:
2016 – 30,035
2015 - 16,802 (please note poor weather this day last year)
Up 13,233

Attendance Figures for Festival 2015:
2016 – 114,438
2015 – 99, 729
Up 14,709

Big Race Winners Today:
Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
Won by: Whiteout
Trained by: Willie Mullins
Ridden by: Paul Townend

AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1)
Won by: Apple’s Jade
Trained by: Willie Mullins
Ridden by: Bryan Cooper

Feature Race Winners this week:
Tuesday:
The Boylesports.com Champion Chase Grade 1 €200,000 (Feature)
Won by: God’s Own
Trained by: Tom George (GB)
Ridden by: Paddy Brennan

Wednesday:
Won by: Carlingford Lough
Trained by: John Kiely
Ridden by: Barry Geraghy
He beat both of Willie Mullins’ contenders Djakadam & Don Poli who had to settle for 2nd and 3rd places today.

Thursday:
Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle (Grade 1)
Winner: One Track Mind
Jockey: Gavin Sheehan
Trainer: Warren Greatrex
Owner: Andy Weller

Friday:
The Betdaq Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
Won by: Vroum Vroum Mag
Trained by: Willie Mullins
Ridden by: Ruby Walsh

Horse Racing Ireland National Hunt Champions Presentations also today for Season 2015 -2016
Owner - Gigginstown
Conditional Jockey – Jack Kennedy
Qualified Rider – Patrick Mullins
Leading Lady Rider – Nina Carberry
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Ruby Walsh

Winner of the AES Fancy Dress Competiton today:
Thomas Finn from Athgarvan dressed as a Legoman won the AES Fancy Dress Competition, photographed here with Freddie the Punchestown Fox and runners-up Ciara Stanley (Celbridge) and Emma Keogh (Portlaoise)

Winner of the AES Art Competition today:
Aoife Kehoe from Killashee Multi-Denominational National School scooped first prize in the AES art competition.

Winner of the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady competition (Friday):
Dr. Jane Mulrooney was deemed Bollinger Best Dressed Lady in a classic long sleeved baby pink dress paired with a Martha Lynn headpiece, a Chanel handbag and Louboutin heels.

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