Racegoers welcomed back to Punchestown for an afternoon of flat action
RACEGOERS were welcomed back to Punchestown Racecourse in Kildare Ireland earlier this month, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden opener going to Alizarine for Jessica Harrington, one of the greatest figures on the Irish racing scene.
It had been more than 18 long months since the public last attended a race day at the home of the annual Punchestown Racing Festival, and their return was celebrated with complimentary admission for everyone who registered their attendance ahead of the eight-race card. While attendance was well below the 5,000 generally seen in and around the parade ring, there was a variety of familiar faces and plenty of style.
“On behalf of the entire team here at Punchestown Racecourse it gives me great pleasure to welcome you back to racing for the first time in over eighteen months,” Punchestown Racecourse CEO Conor O’Neill commented in the run-up to the day’s racing. “This is a day which we have all been eagerly awaiting and we are absolutely delighted that it has finally come, so that we can give you a Punchestown welcome in every sense of the word.”
The racecourse went ahead with closure in February last year, just before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland. While fixtures resumed earlier this year, public attendance has only been in a very tight capacity until recently as government-placed restrictions have begun to ease.
“To say we have missed welcoming, meeting and chatting with you our sponsors, clients, supporters and members would be a massive understatement,” explained Conor O’Neill. “It simply was not the same without you. The support and goodwill that we have received was nothing short of overwhelming throughout these difficult times. It was with very grateful appreciation by all the (Punchestown Racecourse) team and certainly something which we will never forget.”
Irish National Hunt racegoers will enjoy their own welcome back to racing on 12 October when the season opens at Punchestown Racecourse.
Tags: Punchestown Racecourse #irishflatracing #irishnationalhunt
Image credits: Kim Mullahey