Gowran Park to become black and amber den

THE big Kilkenny effort to turn the prime horse racing venue of Gowran Park into a ‘black and amber’ den for a day looks like bearing fruit.

THE big Kilkenny effort to turn the prime horse racing venue of Gowran Park into a ‘black and amber’ den for a day looks like bearing fruit.

On Saturday, March 23 the first Kilkenny senior hurlers family race day will be staged at Gowran Park to celebrate the county’s victory in six of the last seven All-Ireland senior hurling finals.

In a novel partnership with Gowran Park, the GAA have been honoured by having all the races named after Kilkenny stars such as Henry Shefflin, Noel Hickey, Tommy Walsh, J.J. Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell and last year’s captain, Eoin Larkin, plus manager Brian Cody.

All help out

Sponsors like Netwatch Ireland Ltd, Kilkenny City and County Vintners, Ashgrove Stables, Aidan O’Brien, Brendan Long, Highway Safety Developments Ltd and team sponsors Glanbia have come on board, with all races sponsored to the tune of 16,000 euro.

All that remains for the event to be a whopping success is for people to turn out and have fun and for clubs to sell tickets for the event, which cost 10 euro each. As this is a family event, there will be plenty for the children to enjoy, and apart from the racing, the adults could get to meet the Kilkenny stars who have given so much enjoyment on the field of play.

“Let’s get behind this,” insisted County Board treasurer, Barry Hickey. “We are either supporters or followers now.”

The Kilkenny backroom team, plus the Liam McCarthy, will be in attendance. Wearing the county jersey and colours would be apt because a very attractive prize will be on offer to the most colourful black and amber clad family.

There will be the ‘Most Appropriately Dressed Lady’ competition too, sponsored by Paul’s, with a 1,000 euro prize that includes a voucher for the High Street store and a weekend away in Derry, the 2013 City of Culture. The glamorous judges in this case will be Deirdre Shefflin and Elaine Hickey, wives of you know who.

There will also be an opportunity to win tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Nowlan Park in July.

Besides the seven race National Hunt card there will be musical entertainment by the very popular Kilkenny’s. Children under-16 admitted free. There will be a children’s play area with bouncy castles and so on.