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April 06, 2009

New Start Times for Punchestown Festival

Punchestown racecourse announced that the start times for the opening races for the first four days at the Irish National Hunt Festival have been moved an hour later to 3.45pm.

The move will see the seven race programmes run from 3.45pm through to 7.15pm on Tuesday 28th, Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th April and 3.45pm to 7.45pm on Friday 1st May while the start time will remain at 2.45pm for Saturday 2nd May.

This decision continues Punchestown’s policy of adapting to the current economic challenges and making racing more accessible to the general public. After extensive consultation with all stakeholders it is felt that this adjustment will accommodate those racegoers who wish to carry out at least a half day of work prior to racing in a time when employment priorities are forefront in people’s minds.

The change means that the major races of the Punchestown Festival are now to be shown live on RTE during primetime which significantly increases the potential viewership. Having consulted major sponsors including Kerrygold, Guinness, Rabobank, Ladbrokes and Ballymore, Punchestown can reveal that all are in favour of the alteration as it will increase brand exposure and facilitate the needs of their corporate guests and clients. Racing industry bodies such as Horse Racing Ireland, the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association and members of the racing press are all in support of the initiative based on the positive effects it will contribute to the industry.

Dick O’Sullivan, General Manager Punchestown, stated “The business world has changed more in the last eight months than it has in the last ten years so it was a case of adapting to the new circumstances. One of the most significant advancements we have made in recent times was to win back the support of the local community and we feel that by facilitating the hard working public we are making it easier to justify an afternoon at Punchestown with a decent days work under their belt “

“There are so many parties involved in the Punchestown Festival and having thought long and hard about this, we feel that it will benefit and add to the event. The success of the festival benefits the local towns and villages from hotels and pubs to shops and boutiques so to optimise the success of the festival will optimise the trade locally”.

“Decisions in recent years, including the addition of the very successful concluding fifth day, have been good for racing and the race going public so we are confident about this latest initiative”.

The Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival takes place from Tuesday 28th April to Saturday 2nd May 2009. General Admission is €30 with Students and OAP’s paying €15. The Party @ Punchestown Pack offers excellent value to group bookings at just €29pp.

For further information on the Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival please visit