Punchestown management were optimistic about the blue skies sighted over Naas this morning in time for Ladies Day at the Kildare track. But the rain has started to fall again on the fourth day of the Irish National Hunt Festival.
Nevertheless, the biggest crowd of the week is expected at the racetrack for what is a traditional Kildare social highlight. The day features the grand finale of the Coast Best Dressed Lady competition this afternoon.
Shona Dreaper of Punchestown described the conditions over the past couple of days as “extremely challenging weather”. Nevertheless, the track was passed fit for racing at 8am this morning.
Gates will open at 1pm and the first of a five-race card, the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, will go to post at 4.55pm.
There will be a huge entertainment programme with live music, street theatre, festival shopping village, D.J.s and much more throughout the enclosures.
The full racing programme is as follows:
4.55 – Ryanair Steeplechase (Grade 1) 2 miles €100,000
5.30 – Rabobank Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 3 miles 1 furlong €140,000
6.05 – Cathal Ryan memorial Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2 miles 4 furlongs €80,000
6.40 – Star Best For racing Coverage Novice Hurdle 2 miles €22500
7.10 – ITBA Fillies Scheme Premier Bumper €60,000.