It’s been a while. Too long, but good times are back with a bang today at Punchestown! The Punchestown Festival, one of Ireland’s favourite social and sporting events returned today and it certainly did not disappoint.
Here are some of today’s highlights;
Gordon Elliott had a four timer Party Central, Mighty Potter, Felix Desjy and Absolute Notions.
Willie Mullins won the feature race the William Hill Champion Chase of €275,000 with Energumene ridden by Paul Townend in the colours of Tony Bloom.
The Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase of €125,000 was won by Capodanno owned by JP McManus, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Mark Walsh.
Dee Ahearn from Kilcullen, Co. Kildare won the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady Competition on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival. Wearing a stunning turquoise dress she designed herself and had made by local dress designer Liz Byrne a couple of years ago when Hilary Clinton was visiting Barretstown where Dee is the Chief Executive Officer. She teamed the dressed with a stunning Prada bag, Nine West heels and a headpiece she hired from Marinot Millinery at the Osprey Avenue, the shopping village area of the Style Quarter onsite at the Punchestown Festival. She is fast tracked to the final on Friday where she can wear the same outfit or choose to change it up!
Attendances were slightly behind on 2019 figures however, presales and all indication signs are pointing for it to build as the week continues.
The Punchestown Festival is a showcase of jump racing is in store with 12 grade one contests and over €3.3 million in the purse. It offers a tremendous mix speed merchants with stamina stars. Seasoned campaigners compete shoulder to shoulder with rookies and new names. This is where champions are crowned and fresh talent emerges. It is truly a fitting homecoming for our horses, trainers, jockeys and owners who have flown the flag with such success to deserted grandstands and silent stadiums in recent years.
Few sporting experiences compare with the raw energy of horse racing. In Ireland horse racing is where sport and culture combine. It is inherent in Irish culture and heritage. It is fast, it is tough, it is fiercely competitive but it is exhilarating, thrilling and passionate in equal measure. The energy from the track feeds the enclosures where the atmosphere is unbeatable. The soundtrack of cheering, chat, live music and bustling bars injects that festive spirit. Punchestown is proud to retain its title as Ireland’s largest corporate sporting event. This is where two worlds collide with business running in tandem with a relaxed fun day.
Over 17,000 corporate hospitality guests will enjoy delicious seasonal produce at Punchestown this year. Impress clients, guests and friends in our selection of restaurants, pavilions, bars and private suites and rest assured that you will relax and enjoy the very best of Irish sport with delicious seasonal food and beverages in a wonderful famous setting.
Finally, an occasion to dress up for! The prestigious Bollinger Best Dressed Competition will run each day from Festival Tuesday 26th April to the grand final on Ladies Day, Friday 29th April. The all-expenses paid 5 star VIP trip to the Home of Bollinger is the coveted money cannot buy prize on offer this year. The new addition of The Style Council demonstrates a fresh take on all thins fashion at Punchestown. All finalists from Tuesday to Friday will receive a Bollinger goodie bag complete with gorgeous, hand-picked luxury products from Bellamianta, AYU, Declaré, Kotanical, Bollinger and race tickets from Punchestown.
So dress up or dress down, network in corporate hospitality or meet friends in the bar but most importantly gather, gather to celebrate the return of good times. The Punchestown Festival runs from Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th April. Race & Dine Hospitality packages from €149pp. Tickets from just €30 with group concessions available. Visit punchestown.com