The annual five-day festival at Punchestown drew to a spectacular close this evening with an all-time record-breaking crowd of 37,206 attending the festival today. Blue skies, cracking racing and a family focused theme ensured the highest attendance ever at the Kildare venue.
UK raider Fusil Raffles justified favouritism when he won the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle in great style under Daryl Jacob for trainer Nicky Henderson.
Conor O’Neill, Punchestown CEO said “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the 126,840 people who joined us for what was another great Punchestown Festival. It seems each year the five days produces great stories about both people and horses. Past champions regained victory and future stars emerged. Perhaps the biggest twist in the tale was the greatest jockey of a generation, perhaps all time, Ruby Walsh announcing his retirement and we sincerely thank Ruby for sharing this with the Punchestown crowd at his home track. We have always said that it’s the people that make Punchestown and that statement rang true this week”.
O’Neill continued “We are absolutely delighted with the all-time record-breaking crowd here at Punchestown today. Strategically we have committed to delivering an enhanced race day experience with focus on facilities, seating, food quality and service. In keep with on-going plans we introduced two new initiatives this year, the Osprey Avenue and the Bollinger Style Quarter. On a personal note, I remember coming here as a child and being captivated by the festival and I hope many of the thousands of children here today get that very same feeling, they are the racegoers of the future. I would like to acknowledge the unwavering work and commitment by all the team here at Punchestown who made this festival such a tremendous success.”
The AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle of €100,000 (Grade 1)
Fusil Raffles justified favouritism when he won the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle in great style under Daryl Jacob for trainer Nicky Henderson.
Paul Townend was crowned Champion National Hunt Jockey for the 2018/19 Season in a ceremony officiated by Minster Michael Creed.
The winner of the Punchestown Art Competition for Schools is 11 year old Alice Gardiner from St David’s National School, Naas, Co. Kildare.