Horse Racing

Expect crowds at the Dublin Racing Festival


Racecourses in Ireland are poised to welcome capacity crowds back with immediate effect after the Irish government agreed to remove most COVID-19 restrictions on January 22, including the one current attendance at indoor and outdoor events.

That news will reach racing fans with resale tickets for the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown Racecourse next month, and a bumper crowd is expected at Gowran Park on Thursday. Year for Thyestes Chase meet.

The COVID pass requirement has also been dropped for the sake of hospitality and a return to something very close to normal will begin in Navan on Saturday following the announcement by Taoiseach Michael Martin just after 6pm on Thursday night. Six.

“From 6 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday), most of the public health measures that we have to live with will be removed,” Martin said.

“Capacity limits for all indoor and outdoor events will no longer apply. The COVID card requirement to access hospitality and indoor activities will no longer apply. use.

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“Spring is coming and I don’t know if I’ve ever looked forward to it as much as this spring. Humans are social creatures and we are more social Irish than most.”

The legendary Tiger Roll was the star attraction at Navan on Saturday, running in the 2m4f (1.40) handicap, and the track’s manager Aidan McGarry said: “We were lucky because we were quite flexible. active for a meeting like this one.

“Obviously we planned on following the previous guidelines and prepared everything for that, but the adjustments we had to make following this great news were pretty straightforward.”

Speaking of the development, Horse Racing Ireland CEO Suzanne Eade said: “It’s great news. We thought it might come and the removal of social distancing would be the thing. a completely different game to racing for hospitality.

“There could be a pent-up demand, which would be great for upcoming events like Thyestes at Gowran and the Dublin Racing Festival.

“Paul Dermody has been doing a lot of work in the background to try to get people back in racing, so we’re looking forward to continuing that now. It’s really exciting.”

Tim husbands, chief executive of Leopardstown and host of the Dublin Racing Festival on February 5 and 6, shared that excitement.

The husbands said: “You wouldn’t believe the uproar that’s been going around since the news came out. It’s amazing. Everyone has a step forward.

“We think we might get a small boost for the Dublin Racing Festival but getting this news is fantastic. It’s going to be a brilliant day or two and we can’t wait. The atmosphere will be is something very special.”

One of the biggest days on Ireland’s racing calendar for many is Thyestes day at Gowran Park and track manager Eddie Scally predicts a blockbuster occasion on Thursday.

Scally said: “That’s just great news. Tickets for Thursday in reduced quantities are going to sell out. That price is for 4,500 people. Now we can properly plan and give everyone a day to go. mind.

“It’s going to be the biggest and best Thyestes day and I can’t wait. I can’t stress how much I’ve missed that full house and that festive atmosphere.

“Race behind closed doors isn’t like that. It’s not something I signed up for. It’s days like next Thursday and a full Gowran park where I love the job.”



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