Paul Whiteley, cleaning contractor, Kilkenny jockey Shane Foley and Order of Malta volunteer, Darren Maguire at Naas Racecourse. Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy.
Who is your lockdown hero? Is it your neighbour who went above and beyond while you were cocooning; your GP; your community care workers or volunteers; your children’s teacher; your local shopkeeper, postman or postwoman or refuse collector? What about your chemist, childminder or a relative or friend who is working as a nurse, doctor, or medical professional on the frontline?
Naas Racecourse want you to nominate your lockdown heroes. Twenty heroes will be assigned a horse in the €320,000 Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes, the richest two-year-old race to be run in Ireland this year, which takes place at Naas Racecourse on Sunday August 23.
The winner will walk away with the use of luxury car from Colm Quinn BMW for a week, a four-night luxury break for two adults and two children at the Heritage, Killenard in County Laois and €2,000 spending money. There will also be prizes for the hero whose horses are placed in the race from the Osprey Hotel, O’Callaghan Hotel Collection, Weatherbys GSB and the Irish National Stud, and luxury goody bags for the remaining lockdown heroes.
To nominate your lockdown hero, please go to www.naasracecourse.com and include a brief description of their heroic actions and any relevant information before noon on Wednesday August 19.
The 20 lockdown heroes will be announced on Friday August 21.
Commenting on the lockdown hero initiative, Joe Foley, owner of Ballyhane Stud, said: “The Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes is a special race on many levels. It is a big prize-fund for owners and trainers to target with their two-year-olds and a unique race to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing work of the lockdown heroes. Everyone knows someone that went that extra mile to help a neighbour or their community during lockdown, so please get nominating so Naas Racecourse can publicly acknowledge their exceptional actions.”
Naas Racecourse Manager, Eamonn McEvoy, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Ballyhane Stud and the Irish EBF on the lockdown hero concept. The race is guaranteed to attract some top-class horses who will be matched with 20 remarkable lockdown heroes for some fantastic prizes. Special thanks to the Heritage Hotel and Colm Quinn along with the Osprey Hotel, O’Callaghan Collection, Weatherbys GSB and the Irish National Stud for supporting this special event. It’s such a lovely gesture to thank all those heroes who made a difference during lockdown and my committee, colleagues and I at Naas Racecourse are very proud to be involved.”