This week’s Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) column features Clonmel Racecourse, its upcoming fixtures, and some nice ideas to tie in with a day at the races and to make a ‘Trip to Tipp’ a must for your staycation list this autumn.
Nestled in the Suir Valley, Powerstown Park is always a treat to visit for racing, with fantastic views and great amenities and attractions to be enjoyed in the local town of Clonmel and the surrounding areas. Nearby towns include the home of Coolmore Stud in Fethard, as well as the heritage towns of Cashel and Cahir. The Blueway joins the town of Clonmel all the way to Carrick-On-Suir, offering walkers, runners and cyclists a stunning 21km route along the banks of the River Suir.
Clonmel has several upcoming fixtures, each falling on a Thursday, and offering an ideal opportunity to start the weekend early for anyone who fancies a trip to the premier county. Dates for your diary include the 2nd and 30th of September, October 28th, November 11th and December 2nd.
Racecourse manager DJ Histon said: “Thursday’s race meeting will mark the start of our season here at Powerstown Park. The track is in great shape and we are very excited about welcoming our patrons back to Clonmel, especially our sponsors who have shown huge loyalty throughout the pandemic, and our supporters’ club members. It will be good to see them back enjoying the sport they love at the racecourse again.”
During the summer months the team at Clonmel worked hard to improve the facilities. Recent projects include capital investment in the ambulance road and parade ring upgrades, and this year has also seen major investment in the stable yard project which is nearing completion.
For the racegoer at Clonmel it is important to note that it is an outdoor event, and all bar and catering options are provided outside. There is ample outdoor seating and lots of food and beverage options to ensure there is something for everyone who attends.
Tickets for Thursday’s meeting are reasonably priced at €10 per adult or €2 for those under 18. Tickets must be pre-booked online at clonmelraces.ie.
At the nearby four-star, family-run Hotel Minella and Leisure Centre there are plenty of racing connections and recent successes to celebrate, thanks to Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo and Aintree Grand National winner Minella Times.
This week’s race meeting at Clonmel is timely for anyone who enjoys music and might be interested in attending one of Hotel Minella’s famous outdoor summer concerts. In association with the Live Performance Support Scheme, Hotel Minella has been hosting a series of outdoor concerts this summer.
Proprietor John Nallen said: “It’s a great initiative and it is bringing people to the area. I never realised before how important music and entertainment was to people and how good it is for people’s heads.”
The line-up for next weekend is certainly noteworthy for anyone who might like to stay and play after Thursday’s race meeting in Clonmel. On Friday, Mike Denver and guests will be performing and Saturday evening will see Sharon Shannon take centre stage.
Ticket only options are available at €30 per person. Tickets with overnight bed and breakfast packages are available at €100 per person sharing.
Combined with racing, a trip along the Blueway, perhaps a visit to Cahir Castle or the Rock of Cashel, and a concert of your choice it could make for a really pleasant getaway to ‘rare auld Clonmel’. To book tickets and to find information on all upcoming race fixtures visit www.clonmelraces.ie.
By Leo Powell