In this week’s Association of Irish Racecourses column we turn to the premier county, as the team at Thurles are busy preparing for their next race meeting on December 17th. Racecourse Manager, Kate Molony shares all about her plans on and off the track for their annual festive highlight.
The feature race on Sunday the 17th is The Billy Harney Memorial Irish EBF Mares Novice Hurdle of €30,000 kindly sponsored by Billy’s family. Fondly remembered by many Irish Field readers, Billy was a horse trainer based in Templemore outside Thurles and he was a vet at the track for many years also. Sadly, Billy passed away in 2019 on the day of the Thurles Christmas Meeting, so it is most fitting to have a race in his memory at this fixture. Billy Harney was a great friend of the family and the racecourse and the Molony’s of Thurles Racecourse are proud to host a memorial race in his honour
Valued sponsors on the day include Mr. J.P. McManus who has kindly sponsored The Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase and local businessman Tom Egan, proprietor of The Horse and Jockey Hotel.
The Horse and Jockey Hotel is a huge supporter of Thurles Racecourse sponsoring The Horse and Jockey Hotel Rated Novice Hurdle at this Christmas meeting and they are also sponsoring the Grade 2 Horse and Jockey Chase worth €40,000.00, on January 21st.
Just a short drive from the racecourse, the popular hotel needs no introduction as it is a firm favourite with many of our readers, offering great food and accommodation options so whether it’s dinner after racing, a coffee, cake and a browse in the Gift Horse to break your journey or a longer stay where you can enjoy their spa and leisure facilities, it is certainly worth supporting.
The card also features a big tradition with the historic Molony Cup which has been in the Molony Family since 1957.
The Christmas race meeting has a wonderful festive atmosphere with many local businesses celebrating their Christmas parties in style at the track. Furthermore, throngs of local people come racing every year to catch up with old friends and really get into the Christmas spirit at the meeting.
The carvery restaurant will be open and serving delicious main course options including the ‘famous bacon and cabbage’! There will also be a BBQ with steak burgers and a cafe serving soup and homemade sandwiches, ensuring there is something to suit all tastes.
So why not gather friends and families from near and far for the last run out before Christmas at the track. The last race goes to post at 15.45pm followed by live music after racing by local Talented musicians Seanie Mockler and James Doran for all racegoers to enjoy. Patrons are advised to arrive early with gates opening one hour before the first race which goes to post at 12.15pm. Tickets are available online, adult general admission tickets are priced at €16.50, Student / OAP tickets are €10.00 and don’t forget children under 16 go free once accompanied by an adult.
Racecourse Manager, Kate Molony commented, “We would like to give a huge thank you to all our amazing staff for all their hard work throughout the year and to Andrew Purcell, Richard Brennan, John Dunne, Declan Carroll, Jim Murphy, Brendan Tobin, and Richard Phelan who do a fantastic job on the track.”
The Association of Irish Racecourses would like to take this opportunity to wish Kate, Riona, the Molony Family and all the team at Thurles Racecourse the very best ahead of their upcoming meeting. For tickets, membership and more information visit thurlesraces.ie.