It was a day for dreamers yesterday at Punchestown when the punters favourite ‘A Dream to Share’ emerged victorious in the Grade 1 Race and Stay at Punchestown Champion INH Flat Race. Jockey John Gleeson who has just turned 19 and will sit his Leaving Cert in a matter of weeks showed great grit and tenacity as he steered his JP McManus owned horse to glory in front of a crowd of just over 20,000.
Trainer, John Kiely (86) who is John Gleeson’s grandfather trained his first ever Cheltenham winner earlier this year when his grandson, John claimed Cheltenham glory with the same horse at this year’s Cheltenham festival.
There were ecstatic scenes as John’s father, RTE Racing broadcaster, Brian Gleeson, his grandfather John, his mother and family members rushed to the parade ring to congratulate the winning jockey.
Speaking after the race, trainer John Kiely said, “JP (McManus) was a great man to go out and buy him, but he bought a nice horse. He’s a great battler, he battles well and that’s a big plus. I couldn’t have had him better and I was delighted with him coming here.”
Martyn Pipe, CEO of Race and Stay said, “we were thrilled to have sponsored this fantastic result and for the second year in a row this race has enjoyed a double, with both a Cheltenham and Punchestown bumper winner. It was lovely to see the crowds really enjoy the win and what a result for three generations of the same family. For such a young man, John Gleeson is as cool as a cucumber. The crowd loved it and it’s so nice to see a family who are so involved and supportive of racing get a win today.”
Race and Stay, Ireland’s premier horse racing tour company will bring over 1,500 guests to Punchestown this year and have booked over 1,200 room nights in 13 hotels located in both County Kildare and in Dublin.
“We will bring 7,000 visitors to Irish racecourses in 2023 with a large portion of that number of guests coming from overseas. It’s testament to the quality of hospitality and service our hotel and racing partners offer. Our guests just love going to the Irish National Stud and the team there and here in Punchestown are superb. Also, our hotel partners are amazing, we will have a right party tonight in Barberstown Castle and our guests are looking forward to the craic and the fun.”
Established in 2012 Race and Stay is the premier and largest horse racing tour company in Ireland and since its inception, has had over 35,000 people booking racing breaks, hospitality, stable and stud tours, golf and much more with them.
The company is an official guest partner for Punchestown and many other Irish racecourses and offers guests a complete solution for horse racing breaks including hotel, accommodation, tickets, racecourse transport, airport transfers, hospitality and added value ‘money can’t buy’ added experiences such as private stable yard visits and access to leading stud farms, trainers, and riders.
The company signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with Punchestown Racecourse last year which saw Ireland’s premier national hunt flat race going to post under its new title, The Race and Stay at Punchestown Champion INH Flat Race, a Grade 1 contest with a prize fund of €100,000.
Martyn Pipe, CEO of Race and Stay said, “We have a great team of dynamic people working with us and our excellent relationships with the racecourses, hotels and attractions we use make our trips seamless and really enjoyable experiences and that is why our clients come back to us time and time again. In fact, we are already taking bookings this week for Punchestown 2024.”
He went on to say, “we see ourselves as more than just a tour company and no matter your budget we can provide high end concierge style Irish racing experiences.”
The 2023 Punchestown Festival continues until Saturday 29th of April 2023.
To view the Race and Stay Punchestown packages for 2023 please visit www.raceandstay.com/punchestown or call + 353 (0) 45 522795.