Gowran gets ready for busy year

An action-packed year will get under starter’s orders when Gowran Park launch their 2016 calendar tomorrow (Thursday).

A busy season’s racing will be unveiled by racing enthusiast Hector Ó hEochagáin, trainers Gordon Elliott, Shark Hanlon, Pat Flynn and jockey David Mullins at a special event at the Gowran racecourse.

The event will see Gowran Park make a major announcement for a good cause. This year’s Thyestes Chase Day, the biggest day of racing locally, will see the racecourse join forces with the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund.

At this year’s Goffs Thyestes Day, which will be held on Thursday, January 21, €5 from all full admissions will go directly to the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund.

The Thyestes Chase, a legendary hunt race, is one of the highlights of the Irish racing calendar, attracting up to 8,000 enthusiasts, so a bumper windfall is expected.

Among the year’s highlights to be announced on the night include re details of Gowran Park’s inaugural Cat Laughs Race Day on June 6 and Ladies Day on Saturday, June 18. Away from racing, Gowran Park will also exhibition in April by the greatest darts player of all time, 16-times world champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.

“Gowran Park has a fantastic line-up of events for 2016, starting with the Goffs Thyestes Chase on January 21,” said Eddie Scally, general manager of Gowran Park.

“This is sure to be another exiting day at Gowran Park, with brilliant racing complimented by a wonderful line-up of entertainment for all to enjoy.

“We are delighted to donate €5 from all full admission tickets on the day to The Injured Jockey’s Fund,” he added. “I would encourage the racing public to support this initiative by attending.”

With just over a week to go, the 63rd running of the Goffs Thyestes Chase is expected to attract the cream of racing. The race meeting is acknowledged to be a key guide to the Aintree and Irish Grand Nationals, with stars such as Hedgehunter and Numbersixvalverde completing the big race double.

In more recent times The Goffs Thyestes Chase has become a real trial for racing’s blue riband event The Cheltenham Gold Cup, with the last two Thyestes winners finishing runner-up in the big race. Racing fans will be hoping that 2016 sees the Thyestes winner go on to claim The Gold Cup, a feat last achieved by Arkle in 1964.

Complementing the Goffs Thyestes Chase will be the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle. This race, which features a €40,000 purse, has been won in recent years by Dedigout, Zaidpour and Gold Cup hero War of Attrition.

Off the track, Goffs Thyestes Day has some fantastic entertainment to suit all tastes, including The Joe Dolan Show in The Rooftop Restaurant.

The Goffs Thyestes Chase will be held on Thursday, January 21. Gates open at 11am, with the first race going to post at 12.55pm. Tickets are available at Gowran Park on the day at €20 for adult admission and €15 for OAP/Students. Group discounts are available by contacting Gowran Park, tel 056-7726225.