The Fairyhouse Winter Festival takes place on Saturday, December 3rd and Sunday 4th.
This week we caught up with Peter Roe, manager of the Co Meath venue, to get the latest on how things are shaping up for what promises to be a cracking weekend of racing.
“We are monitoring the track very closely. It is in great shape and it is set to be in fantastic condition, thanks to Richard Stapleton and his team of ground staff. It is a busy time for them, as racing takes place three times in December and four times in January. They consistently keep the track in the best possible condition through all types of weather scenarios,” said Roe.
One of the many joys of racing at this time of year is that racing starts early – so you’re out early and home early, well in theory anyway! The gates open at 10am each day at Fairyhouse and patrons are encouraged to come along early to beat the traffic and soak up the festive atmosphere.
On Saturday the first race is at 11.35am. Remember to sport your most sparkly festive sweater for the popular Christmas Jumper Competition, and a chance to win a stay at the four-star Dunboyne Castle Hotel, along with a table for two in the Bobbyjo Bistro at a Fairyhouse meeting in 2023.
This fantastic day of racing will feature highlights such as the Grade B EasyFix Handicap Chase worth €45,000 and the Ladies Chase.
The first race on Sunday is scheduled for 11.55am. With three Grade 1 races, and the addition of a €100,000 handicap hurdle, this is a day you will not want to miss. The Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, won in recent years by Hurricane Fly, Apple’s Jadeand Honeysuckle, is the highlight of day two. Excitement is building as Honeysuckle is going for her fourth consecutive win in the race, and her eighth career win at Fairyhouse. The race will mark the 15th year of Barney O’Hare’s Bar One Racing’s sponsorship.
A great choice of hospitality packages are available at the weekend. They are the Winter Festival package and Jameson Christmas Party package, which include admission, racecards, a two-course buffet meal, a reserved table (shared tables of 10), direct access to the stand, betting and bar facilities, live World Cup action from 3pm, and live music after racing.
All of this can be had for just €75 a head or €700 for a table of 10.
The Bulmers Bumper Pack includes admission, racecard, Tote bet, burger and a pint of Bulmers and is available to book online, priced from €37. Live music and entertainment over the weekend will be complemented by the World Cup matches being shown live in the Powers Sports Bar.
If you can’t make their Winter Festival, Fairyhouse will race again on December 17th for the Kevin Sheedy Bowel Cancer Charity Raceday. A former Republic of Ireland International, Kevin will run a unique fundraising event against the exciting backdrop of a seven-race National Hunt card. Tickets for the event are €175 each and include a four-course meal, a Q&A with Kevin, table service, a raffle and auction, live music, and World Cup live coverage with analysis.
Annual membership for 2023 can be ordered online for €225. Offering 21 days of racing at the track, the benefits include a race card, access to the member’s room overlooking the track, member’s car parking and numerous reciprocal days in Ireland and Britain, It would be the perfect Christmas gift for the racing enthusiast in your life.
The Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) wish Peter, Gillian, Orla, Trevor, Richard and all the team at Fairyhouse the very best of luck with their upcoming fixtures. Visit fairyhouse.ie
By Leo Powell