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Mullins six “all intended runners” in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown this weekend

A glittering array of talent looks set to line up in the inaugural Grade 1 hurdle of the season, with champion trainer Willie Mullins confirming that all six of his entrants “are intended runners” in Sunday’s Grade 1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle (in memory of Michael Rafferty @AnalogsDaughtr), the feature of Punchestown’s weekend Winter Festival.

That provides the mouth-watering prospect of Closutton’s highly-touted Triumph Hurdle winner, Vauban taking on his Ballymore Novice Hurdle-winning comrade Sir Gerhard in the opening Grade 1 hurdle of the season. Mullins could also unleash the Punchestown Grade 1 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle winner State Man, with the trio all representing different owners.

As well as the young gun Vauban, the only four-year-old in the field, Rich Ricci may have his famous pink and lime green spotted colours carried by previous Unibet Morgiana Hurdle winners Saldier and Sharjah, the latter triumphing here in 2018 and 2021 and his stablemate having scored in 2019. The undoubtedly classy Vauban is embarking on a Champion Hurdle path that few Triumph Hurdle winners can navigate but Sunday’s Punchestown highlight is the obvious starting point. “We are always well represented in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle because it comes at a perfect time in the calendar for our horses,” Mullins said. “It allows us to go on to Christmas and continue the season from there then before we come back to Punchestown in April.”

Of his runners, Mullins added: “At this stage, all six are intended runners. Vauban is an exciting prospect after his win in the Triumph Hurdle last year but it is difficult for four-year-olds to win this race. I said if we’re going to make a Champion Hurdle horse out of him then let him take on good horses in the Morgiana.

“I’m going back over hurdles with Saldier for the first time in a while, when he disappointed at Gowran Park last February and he’s bound to be a little ring rusty. “Like Saldier, Sharjah won the race before and I think the ground is going to suit him so we’re looking forward to getting his season going after missing the spring following his fourth Matheson at Leopardstown. “Sir Gerhard has been doing things right at home. I’m very happy with him, while State Man is a horse that’s been improving all through last season. If he keeps improving, he’s the right age to make it into the Champion Hurdle field.”

The Mullins sextet is completed by Echoes In Rain, herself a course and distance winner at Peerless Punchestown, having won the 2021 Grade 1 eCOMM Merchant Solutions Champion Novice Hurdle. “Echoes In Rain runs well around Punchestown. The two miles here might be a little sharp for her,” the champion trainer concluded.

The Unibet Morgiana Hurdle takes place on Sunday 20th November. Advance booking tickets with €5pp discount and free racecard are on sale until the day before your selected race meeting. There will be live music, bus transfers after racing, free kids entertainment and delicious food options across the weekend. Visit www.punchestown.com/fixtures/

Stable staff on duty at the upcoming Punchestown Winter Festival will not only enjoy lunch compliments of Midland Travel but will also be in with a chance to win a trip to Paris next summer thanks to Ireland’s leading provider of travel and sports package trips.

As part of their continued backing of Irish racing, long-standing supporters Midland Travel return to the home of Irish jump racing with a generous package focusing on the hard working stable staff team members at the upcoming Punchestown Winter festival.

Midland Travel will be sponsoring the stable yard canteen for the duration of the event ensuring that racing yard staff can enjoy a complimentary selection of hot dishes, tea, coffee and snacks. Furthermore, the centrepiece of the Midlands Travel package is their generous offering of a wonderful prize for two people to visit Paris next summer. The trip includes return flights, three nights bed and breakfast in four star accommodation and more. Stable staff on duty on 19th and 20th of November will have the opportunity to enter the free draw on either race day.

Stephen Bernie of Midland Travel explained the background to the package “Some years ago we were involved with a new initiative at Punchestown called the Up The Yard Challenge. We sponsored the prize for the winning rider of the inter-stable race”. Bernie continued “The whole idea of focusing on the hard working stable staff really appealed to us. We felt if anyone deserved a nice holiday it was them! When the opportunity arose to be involved in the Winter Festival we were delighted to take part and look forward to assisting the brilliant horse men and women of Irish racing when it comes to planning their well-deserved holiday at the end of the season”.

Leona Hughes, Punchestown Sponsorship Manager said “Midland Travel deserve so much thanks for this very generous sponsorship of the yard canteen and donation of such a great prize. We know that outside of racecourse staff, the teams from yards around the country are the first to arrive on site each race day and in many cases the last to leave. Some have long journeys ahead of them before returning to the yard to look after the horses before themselves. They are long days so to make sure everyone has a nutritious meal at some stage is important. We are constantly planning on improving and upgrading facilities. Recent plans were delayed due to the pandemic but we hope to focus on industry facilities going forward”.

The 2022 Punchestown Winter Festival takes place Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November. Featuring grade one, two, listed, rated and cross-country racing the two day fixture is quality start to finish. Action gets underway at 12.30pm on day one and 11.45am on Sunday. Live music, free children’s entertainment, tasty food options and shuttle bus after racing make up a great day out. Advance ticket deals available on www.punchestown.com

 

Punchestown Winter Festival Quick Guide:
When: Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022

Time: First race/last race 12.30 & 4pm  Saturday. 11.45 & 3.50pm Sunday.
Tickets:  €15pp in advance includes free racecard on arrival. €20 on the day. Seniors and students can purchase for €15 on the day. Children under 14 years FREE. Visit www.punchestown.com
Make Your Day: Live music and bus service into Naas after racing both days.
Dining: Race & Dine packages in restaurant or private suite from €52pp.
Hay Café and The Feedroom for carvery lunches, light snacks, pastries and barista coffee.
The Playroom – Free indoor child friendly room with games, activities, movie corner, face painting etc. This is not a crèche facility and a parent or guardian must supervise children please.
More: For the best info follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Get the best deals when you sign up to our newsletter. Visit www.punchetsown.com or call the team who are happy to help.

Punchestown racecourse are delighted to welcome Kildare based landscaping firm Oak Lodge to the sponsorship panel ahead of the 2022 Punchestown Winter Festival on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November.

The Oak Lodge Landscapes Craddockstown Novice Chase takes centre stage on the opening day of the winter feature at the home of Irish jump racing. The grade two contest over two miles holds a €36,500 prize fund and has been a happy hunting ground for high quality champion chase contenders. Previous winners include the Alan & Ann Pott’s owned top class duo Sizing John and Sizing Europe with the great Moscow Flyer featuring even further back in the roll of honour.

Whilst Waterford trainer Henry de Bromhead has an excellent strike rate in the Oak Lodge Landscape Chase, it is Gordon Elliott who will bid for a hat trick of wins having landed the spoils with Felix Desjy and Reviere D’etel in 2020 and 2021.

The Oak Lodge Landscape connection is a local one with founders and directors Cathal and Samantha Kavanagh based in the Naas area. Oak Lodge was established over 20 years ago and the family run firm employs five team members with this number fluctuating greatly during the busy summer months. Originally domestic and private projects accounted for a majority of the business however, as owner Cathal Kavanagh explains, economics intervened: “During the financial crash people’s priorities changed and gardens were no longer high up on the list of household spending. Like many businesses we had to adapt to survive and ever since our company has strived in the commercial landscape maintenance market. We have national retail clients who’s properties we manage in addition to business parks and commercial settings alongside our domestic services”.

Offering some background to today’s sponsorship announcement Kavanagh continued: “I have been racing at Punchestown for as long as I can remember. It is a place that is close to us both literally and in the sense that we’ve enjoyed many great day’s there through the years. Getting involved and sponsoring was something I’ve always intended to do and now we’ve made it happen. We look forward to enjoying a Punchestown race day from a different angle when the Oak Lodge Landscapes Chase gets underway”.

Punchestown Sponsorship Manager Leona Hughes welcomed the Oak Lodge Landscapes news: “Cathal, Samantha and the Oak Lodge team are a wonderful addition to the Punchestown sponsorship profile and we look forward to partnering with them as they step into a sponsorship role here. Local business and community is a fundamental part of the Punchestown ethos and it is all the more special when the people involved have a personal connection to this special place. We thank Oak Lodge Landscapes for the wonderful support and look forward to working alongside them to provide a memorable Punchestown experience”.

The Punchestown Winter Festival takes place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November. In addition to the grade one Unibet Morgiana Hurdle and the grade two Oak Lodge Landscapes Craddockstown Chase there is an excellent support card of listed, graded and cross country action on offer across the two days. Racegoers of all ages are catered for with complimentary children’s play area for families however, those that may have outgrown the face painting stage can enjoy delicious dining, live music and bus transfers to Naas after racing. With a keen focus on value, the home of Irish jump racing is offering discounts and complimentary race cards for those who book in advance on www.punchestown.com

The first race goes to post approx 12 noon Saturday and 11.45 Sunday. gates and public dining venues open one and a half hours before racing.

**ENDS**

For further information please contact:

Shona Dreaper,
Punchestown Marketing and Communications Manager
Phone: +353 (0) 45 897704 or email info@punchestown.com

 

 

 

 

Anglesey Lodge Give Back With New Punchestown Sponsorship

 

Monday 09/09/2022 – Internationally renowned equine hospital Anglesey Lodge will join the sponsorship line up for Punchestown’s season return meeting this Tuesday, September 13th when the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Two-Year-Old Maiden will be the second race on the card at the Kildare track.

Punchestown completes the thoroughbred county hat trick as Anglesey Lodge are already involved with both the Curragh and Naas racecourses. Practice partner Mark MacRedmond (MVB CertVPM MRCVS) explained the thinking behind the contribution: “Our reason to be involved is pretty straight forward – we simply want to give back to the industry. Anglesey Lodge has been fortunate enough to work alongside so many brilliant training establishments from yards big and small throughout the region for over 45 years. Sponsoring and contributing to the prize funds is the most effective and direct way we can further support the industry and give back. MacRedmond continued “Another particularly important factor is of course was the passion that practise founder and renowned vet Ned Gowing had for Punchestown. Ned Gowing established Anglesey Lodge back in 1976 and throughout his distinguished career he would always make time for racecourse duty at Punchestown, a place he just loved”.

 In addition, the Anglesey Lodge team celebrate one year at their new Friarstown base having moved from their former facility of 19 years which was located next door to the final straight of the Curragh racecourse. The new Anglesey Lodge home is a custom built facility on 12.5 acres with state of the art facilities including 70 stables, double surgical theatres, blood sample laboratory,  diagnostic and examination rooms. A panel of 18 vets, specialist surgeons, nurses, nursing assistants,  grooms, lab technicians, practise managers and admin staff combine to make up what has become one of the most highly regarded teams in the global equine hospital industry. Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital offers a full service from specialist surgery, lameness and pre-purchase exams to advanced nuclear scintigraphy.

 Welcoming the new sponsors to the home of Irish jump racing Punchestown CEO Conor O’Neill said “We are fortunate to have the fantastic people resources of Anglesey Lodge available to us on race days as part of the vet support panel. Horse welfare and safety is paramount at Punchestown and to have such strength and depth of veterinary experience on our doorstep means horses that compete here have the very best of assistance should they require it. We take this opportunity to thank Mark, Thomas, Juan and the team for their contribution to our first meeting of the 22/23 season and look forward to continuing our association with Anglesey Lodge  for many years to come”.

 The Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Two Year Old Maiden is the second race on the only all flat fixture at Punchestown. Action gets underway at 2pm.

 

A Guide for Owners At Punchestown Festival 

First and foremost thank you so much for supporting Punchestown. We truly appreciate and recognise the value of the Irish Racehorse Owner. Whilst we cannot guarantee winners we do our best to ensure you and your guests have an enjoyable visit and that your horses have excellent racing surface, welfare support and stable yard facilities. 

Below is a guide to your festival visit:  

Parking 

There is a limited area of reserved parking available for Owners & Trainers. Please have your AIR card to assist the parking attendants. At peak times the Gardai and parking teams will have to move cars into available spaces to ease congestion. our tip – arrive early. 

Access & Admission

Owners access the course using their AIR cards. The AIR turnstile is located on the right of the main entrance building. The appropriate badges and wristbands will be issued at this point.  Should you not have your AIR card, please contact AIR on +353 (0)1 6760911 as soon as possible. 

 Additional Ticket Requests – Strict Deadline 12 noon the day before the race. 

Owners with runners can request limited additional complimentary tickets through www.racehorseownership.ie/tickets only

Please note that these tickets do not allow access to the Goffs Lounge and are admission and parade ring only. The requested tickets will be available at the ticket collection point inside the main entrance building. The packs will be filed under the registered owners name with the horse name as reference.  Please note the deadline for these requests is 12 noon the day before racing and ALL REQUESTS direct to HRI Ownership.  We regret that we are unable to process after this deadline with no exceptions permitted.

Should you require further tickets above this allocation they can be purchased at 20% discount from Punchestown racecourse. Please note that these tickets must be ordered by 12 noon the day before racing. To order please contact Jean on +353 (0)45 897704 or email jcreaton@punchestown.com 

 

Goffs Owners & Trainer Lounge – Access Limited To Four Per Owner

We are pleased to welcome the return of The Goffs Owners & Trainers Lounge where buffet lunch and refreshments are served. To ensure an enjoyable owner race day experience, access to this venue is strictly limited to four per owner and this includes partnerships, syndicates and clubs regardless of the numbers involved or how many horses they might have running. Only those with appropriate wristbands will gain entry. Due to the number of owners with runners, access for all is not possible and we hope you understand this is to ensure an enjoyable experience for those in attendance. This venue is located on the first floor of the Hunt Stand in the reserved enclosure. Access through the door next to the Bollinger Garden. View Festival Enclosure map HERE

 

Owners & Trainer Bar – Access Limited to those with Owner & Trainer Badges

An additional Owners & Trainers Bar will be located on the ground floor of the Panoramic Stand next to the horse walk. Owner and Trainer badges required for admission to this venue. View Festival Enclosure map HERE

 

AIRO & HRI Owners Marquee

The Association of Irish Racehorse Owners and HRI Ownership will host The Owners Clubhouse at the festival. Please contact AIRO directly to enquire about member benefits.

Contact Details & Raceday Info

All of your raceday info is including in your declaration email from HRI ownership. Please keep an eye on your inbox for this correspondence. 

 

Should you have any queries on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the HRI Ownership on owners@hri.ie or