Sunday 20 January 2019

Festival fit for Kings

Peter Roe
Peter Roe
Robbie Power on 2017 Irish Grand National winner, Our Duke.

Welcome to the 2018 Easter Festival of Racing at Fairyhouse, the home of Ireland's favourite race the BoyleSports Irish Grand National on its traditional Easter Monday slot. Affectionately known as 'The Race of the People' because traditionally the small-time trainer, owner and syndicate of work colleagues and friends can win it just as easily as the 'big boys' of racing, the iconic race is now worth €500,000 and has become Ireland's richest jumps race and the third most valuable between here and the UK.

The 2017 winner of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National, Our Duke, typified what is great about this race. It was a first win in the race for Meath jockey Robbie Power and Kildare-based trainer Jessica Harrington, however the story of the winning owners The Cooper Family syndicate made national headlines. The syndicate, comprising of four family members, originally from Coolrain on the foot hills of Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois, and their extended family and friends, had a day to remember last Easter Monday.

But Fairyhouse is not just about racing this Easter Weekend as we prepare the ultimate playground with fun, excitement, food, music and great atmosphere for everyone as well as a funfair and playground to keep the little ones happy and especially for families as all under 16s are free!

Racing enthusiasts can look forward to one of our best festivals ever with a host of leading performers from both sides of the Irish seas battling it out for over €1.55m worth of prizemoney. The meeting will also prove a critical fixture in the determining of the 2017 Irish trainers title. Can the local Gordon Elliott finally take the title from the maestro and current champion Willie Mullins? Maybe it'll be the BoyleSports Irish Grand National that'll prove to be the difference this year!

Fairyhouse will also be the fashion focus of the country on Easter Monday as we host The Carton House Most Stylish Lady competition which is the traditional start of the racing style calendar. More details on this and the amazing prize of a three-night trip to Boston as well as stays in the Presidential Suite of Carton House for the winner can be found later in this supplement.

The atmosphere at the Irish Grand National is always amazing and the build-up to the race is what makes it so special. The starting point is close to the main stand in front of the people, so when that flag goes up and the horses gallop away the roar from the crowd is deafening and the loudest in Irish racing! A lot of hard work goes in from all the staff here at Fairyhouse and the winter of 2017/2018 has been very difficult in terms of weather and ensuring the track looks at its peak. It will however be worthwhile come 5pm on Easter Monday when we hear that legendary roar from the crowd as the horses leap forward from the start.

We look forward to welcoming you to our festival and it has never been easier to come and visit us by car, bus or train, just check out our directions on it'll be our pleasure to have you with us.


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