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27 Apr 13 16:14
Date Joined: 26 May 04
| Topic/replies: 1,864 | Blogger: jimeen's blog
Was there for 3 days and i can say with certainty that i will never attend this festival again. Between cross country races,banks races ,far too many bumpers and low grade handicaps ,the racing lacks very few punting opportunities. Combine these factors with atrocious ground and countless horses running stones below their best,then you are left with a whole host of lotteries. God himself couldnt figure out whats going to happen there,form goes clean out the window in alot of instances. Cheltenham and even Aintree are on a different planet to this dive,the catering is awful there,the stewarding is awful there,and you shouldnt really need wellingtons to get from your car to the front gate at any meeting,let alone a so called flagship one. Now some will say this sounds like a rant from somebody who lost his money ,and yes i did lose my dough. But that isnt the reason for being so disgruntled,it isnt the first time this meeting has dissapointed me,but it really digusted me this year.
Pause Switch to Standard View Punchestown is a kip of a meeting
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Report frankalsoran60 April 27, 2013 4:22 PM BST
Is that why you went for 3days?
Report workrider April 27, 2013 4:25 PM BST
Sorry to hear that Jimeen , I cant agree though , s.s.won at aint chel , punch ,s.e.finished 2nd at chelt , punch , won at chelt , punch , surely thats top class form holding up...What more do you want ..I was there most days , I left my house 25 mins before the first and was in and seated before racing began ,Never once did i encounter huge puddles , although there were some heavy spots to park in ...I'd like the catering to improve though...The police controlled the traffic fantastically ....As i said sorry you feel that way ...
Report jimeen April 27, 2013 4:47 PM BST
I know workrider that you can list races where form held up and there were a few of those too,of course there was. But i could name 25 horses that ran a stone or more below their best. The bad stewarding i meant was people being allowed bring glasses out of the bars and all over the track. That is simply not tolerated in England and rightly so too. The traffic management as you rightly said was very good indeed,you certainly couldnt fault that aspect of the place.
Franksaloran,i went there for 4 days originally but i went home after 3,i would have left earlier only i wasnt on my own and i didnt want to dissapoint the two guys that were with me,they seemed to enjoy the place.
Report workrider April 27, 2013 4:51 PM BST
Yes i also agree with you re the stewards allowing glasses to be taken outside , I've said it year after year , A massive waste of money the amount of stewards just simply doing nothing...
Report frankalsoran60 April 27, 2013 4:57 PM BST
My fav meeting in ireland, the best moment for me was the crowds appreciation for the great Sprinter sacre , my next best moment was being down at the last fence for the gold cup and the jockeys getting the very best out of there mounts, GREAT STUFF
Report tony57 April 27, 2013 4:59 PM BST
im sorry it was so bad for you jimeen..punchy have problems?..but to be fair i think the racing itself has been good..not as good as others i agree but it was worth it for most to see the monster s.s?
Report punchestown April 27, 2013 5:21 PM BST
Not sure if you mean me or the track Tony Laugh,I'm 100% anyhow Grin
Report Rocketfingers April 27, 2013 5:33 PM BST
Jimeen i could not agree more, i see wonky say the form held up because Sprinter won, he ran was it 11 or 13 lbs below his cheltenham form but that's not either here not there to a certain degree the facts are as Ted Walsh said yesterday too many races, there is a 2 mile and 2 and a half mile and a 3 mile novice hurdle, 4 bumpers on the first 2 days, c'mon. We had a nice festival when it was a 3 day even 4 days was streching it but 5 ffs can we not do anything right in this country, more is not always better. People crib about the derby festival at the Curragh it's better than that nonsense.
Report workrider April 27, 2013 5:51 PM BST
In other words COCO didn't back a winner either....Laugh
Report Santry April 27, 2013 6:10 PM BST
I was there yesterday and I enjoyed the day. Helps when the winners flow of course. The organization though was poor. Took us probably 15 mins to get through the turnstiles and the catering was real slop it up stuff. Punchestown is not a patch on Cheltenham and never will be for a lot of reasons.
Report Miltonfield April 27, 2013 6:55 PM BST
agree with jimeen. its either a 25 runner bumper/poxy hunter chase or a 4 runner race with an odds on shot. like a grade one novice hurdle yesterday with 3 runners... the handicaps are the best races on the cards.
Report silvergreaser April 27, 2013 7:16 PM BST
Willie Mullins having the vast bulk of the cream doesnt help either?.
Report Miltonfield April 27, 2013 7:31 PM BST
yeah silvergreaser. you cant blame him. suppose its fair to say other trainers missed out on the meetin to avoid him as well. gordon elliott very few runners, meade and dessie hughes probably target fairyhouse more, jessie done her best but no one has the ammo. i like jimeen will be avoiding from now on. lesson learnt altho i seem to remember sayin this 3/4 years ago....
Report irish_guy_13 April 27, 2013 7:39 PM BST
anyone paying in , would want their heads examined.
Report wildmanfromborneo April 27, 2013 8:58 PM BST
It was 1.01 that the parsimonious begging Irish Guy would come up with a gem like that.

This is the same poster that wanted free entry into all racecourses for anyone who owned a horse along with free cards and free food,this brought one of the funniest responses given on here " just because your outside Croke Park with a Hurley in your hand doesn't mean you are entitled to free entry for the All Ireland "

At some stage it will dawn on Irish Guy that someone has to pay and this going around scrounging does him no favours.
Report tony57 April 27, 2013 9:05 PM BST
i haven't been to the festival 4, 3 yrs..but i have to say i enjoyed my day there..i agree about the food but i never bought much..(i never do on racecourses)..for me its all about the horses and i have to admit some of the races this week have been poor with only a few runners..and a mullins free for all..but the weather had alot to do with that..i think the irish trainers must start to get near willie or it will put off a lot more punters the competition is weak..but the festival itself is still great ..and i for one will be back soon(hoping its not a mullins feast)
Report silvergreaser April 27, 2013 9:20 PM BST
Its not Willes fault he's quite happy to laugh all the way to the bank, its impossible for the other trainers to compete when extremely rich owners keep on sending their most expensive french breds among others to Willie.
Gigginstown do spread their stock around kudos to them, but Ricci puts all his egss in one basket, would be nice if he decided to spread a few around and he'll mostly likely still have plenty of success outside of the Mullins monopoly?.
Report wildmanfromborneo April 27, 2013 9:33 PM BST
It's the fault of the other Irish trainers for running scared.

A three horse race for the Madra chase two for Willie Mullins and one from England

Five runners in the Grade1 mares hurdle two for Willie Mullins,one from England and two Irish trained runners from small stables all for a pot of 62,000

Six runners in the Four year old Champion Hurdle,four from the Willie Mullins stable with only two other trainers willing to take him on for a pot of fifty odd grand.
Report silvergreaser April 27, 2013 9:42 PM BST
Are they running scared wildman or have they just not got the ammuntition, its a pity Our Conor didnt turn up as I think he already has next years champion hurdle in the bag if he stays sound.

Ricci has something like 30 horses in training with Mullins, and he's spent well in excess of 5 million on them so that would work out at something in the region of €180,000 average per horse, a virtual blank cheque in National hunt terms, compete with that wildman?.
Report silvergreaser April 27, 2013 9:43 PM BST
ammunition even!.
Report Rocketfingers April 27, 2013 10:45 PM BST
Cut it back to 3 days and have proper high quality racing, the crowds will soon go and the real punters won't be going to it anymore.
Report Ozymandius April 27, 2013 11:12 PM BST
I'm surprised more is not made of the role of Harold Kirk buying the French breds for Mullins and his owners.

If this guy worked for JP or Gigginstown, the overall picture would be transformed.
Report silvergreaser April 27, 2013 11:23 PM BST
Good point ozy, and maybe the oft used word "genius" to describe Mullins might not be used with such abandon?
Report wildmanfromborneo April 28, 2013 12:02 AM BST
I could buy the French horses if I had Riccis money behind me.

Silvergreaser correctly points out the amount of money being spent,now if Mr Kirk was buying horses for small money that would be different.

I attended three days and the whole thing was magnificent,the festival works the crowds were immense with a lot of young people,the betting appeared to be holding up.
Can't agree about the catering as all I knew were impressed by the food and service,best racing caterers in the country( with the exception of Thurles ) and the traffic management was the best I have ever seen.
The constant music gets to me but as I am in a minority on this its hardly fair to complain.

The only problem racing wise was some of the uncompetitive fields as illustrated by today's racing.
Report Diamond_Joe_Quimby April 28, 2013 12:53 AM BST
Opening poster is spot on. The field sizes were shocking with many being run at 7 or less. 3 for a novice Grade 1 FFS and 6 (4 from one trainer) in the Juvenile Grade 1.

Irish racing is in a bad way when one trainer is so dominant. Mullins has as many wins this year as the next 4 put together.

Many of the handicaps running at 130% + with 2 at 150%......
Report jimeen April 28, 2013 3:21 PM BST
Wildmanfromborneo,you are entitled to your opinion but even by the pathetic standards of racecourse catering Punchestown is one of the lesser lights,and thats saying something. I wonder did somebody from HRI ever go and take a look at Cheltenham and see could they possibly even go close to replicating the way they do it. I would give the catering at Cheltenham a rating of 9/10 and Punchestown would struggle to get a zero. The top tracks in this country are a disgrace compared to their counterparts across the water. You mention the betting holding up,the betting was useless there and the main factor being the recession. An other factor is that half the crowd that go in the gate never even see a bookmaker. Of course they should be scattered all over the place like they do in England,but not so here. Even the racecourse itself leaves alot to be desired,the siting of the fences is ridiculous. Tramore has a longer run in on the chase course,its almost impossible to get beaten if you jump the last in front over fences and i dont know of any racecourse anywhere with a downhill finish,let alone a so called Grade 1 track. I am open to correction but i'd like somebody to name any other track where the finish is downhill.
Report kingrat April 28, 2013 3:35 PM BST
u were in the cheap seats jimeen,plus losing yre bollix never helps.i for 1 enjoyed the meeting plus the local talent from naas are always entertaining.Laugh
Report winnings April 28, 2013 3:51 PM BST
jimeen.not easy find the lady in punch.bent races very thin on the ground  for you
Report jimeen April 28, 2013 4:02 PM BST
There are bent races everywhere winnings,according to you didnt Ruby give Silvianaco Conti an easy in Aintree. I assume if the races at Aintree are bent then Punchestown must be the same.
Report p_r_e_m_i_e_r__f_a_n_t_a_s_y April 28, 2013 4:26 PM BST
well i enjoyed myself Grin
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 4:41 PM BST
I know Prem, i heard the reports of an individual abusing himself in the men's toilet at the course alright.
Report p_r_e_m_i_e_r__f_a_n_t_a_s_y April 28, 2013 4:48 PM BST
Report hardlyuseless April 28, 2013 5:06 PM BST
Report jimeen April 28, 2013 5:27 PM BST
Hardlyuseless, there are quite a few flat tracks and i would consider Wexford to be fairly level, particularly from the last bend to the line. The only two that i couldnt argue with anybody who might say they finish downhill are Cartmel and Ballinrobe.
Report lustrumm April 28, 2013 6:50 PM BST
The best days racing I was ever at in my life was in Punchestown about 21 years ago. It was a 3 day meeting then I think and one of the days was off. Anyway there were 5 Grade 1 races that day. It was the single most enjoyable day I ever had. I went Friday this week, arriving at 16:30 and I left at 18:05 with shoes so muddy it took me an hour to clean them yesterday.
I wouldn't cross the road to go there ever again
1. As Jimeen says initially the racing is not Grade 1 racing
2. The catering is crap (I was invited to a private box and even that was crap)
3. The Betting Ring was dead. One only has to go racing to see all the lies peddled about busy betting rings is a joke. I spoke to a front-line bookie who had not laid 3 bets in the Champion hurdle race and he was betting without, betting straight and forecast betting.

Finally a word on the fashion stakes for Ladies day. All I say were 13-15 year old girls tottering around. They were looking well I am sure to their 13-15 year old peers but not much use to the likes of me.

Perhaps Friday was a poor example but the experience for me was a waste of time. I had no bet by the way so that was not a factor in my view
Report Fatandprotein April 28, 2013 8:04 PM BST
Went everyday, a great pity to see such small fields for some of the big races. I couldn't careless about the catering, I have never thought of a racecourse as a great place for a slap up meal. Traffic management was top class - in and out in minutes. Plus the phone coverage was good.
Went to Cheltenham Thurs and Friday, left after the Gold Cup and they were towing cars with the tractors at that stage, heard it was mayhem later that night. Plus a genius of a parking steward managed to direct me to drive over 2 of his traffic cones while he was trying to do something else. Done a nice bit of damage above the wheel. Couldn't make a phone call at the place.
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 8:10 PM BST
Great post all joking aside they showed one of the private functions one day and i honestly could not believe what i seen with the food, looked bog standard, i would love to bring wildman over to some of the UK courses for their catering. All in all i think Punchestown will be on the slide from here on in unless they cut it back, family day at a national hunt festival please.
Report workrider April 28, 2013 8:47 PM BST
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 8:53 PM BST
That's right i have actually, great for watching some of those horses you claim to have bred and owned Wonks Laugh
Report workrider April 28, 2013 9:03 PM BST
That was the word on the street in GRANGE , BIG FELLA...Cool
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 9:08 PM BST

I'm 3 miles north wonky
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 9:08 PM BST
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 9:11 PM BST
You can name me if you want Wonky plenty know me on here, if that is what you want? I don't care i'll still rip it out of you 'wee man'

13 points Laugh
Report workrider April 28, 2013 9:18 PM BST
no need for that big fella , JUST KEEPING YOU ON YOUR TOES...Laugh
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 9:24 PM BST
As i said if naming people on a forum is your idea of a witty reply and makes you feel like a bigger man that you are go for it lots of people know me on here don't care my little tiny friend Happy
Report workrider April 28, 2013 9:28 PM BST
Now whos getting hot under the collar ..Calm down ....Cool
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 9:33 PM BST
I'm not perfectly calm i never get upset on the goings on an internet forum, but just saying if naming people on here is your thing and gives you a kick go for it, no skin off my teeth wee man. I always said you can give it but you can't take it Wink
Report workrider April 28, 2013 9:35 PM BST
HEY BIG FELLA ..JUST RELAX ..grange rover....Cool
Report Rocketfingers April 28, 2013 9:37 PM BST
Wildman to be fair can give and take you can't
Report workrider April 28, 2013 9:42 PM BST
Report kingrat April 28, 2013 9:54 PM BST
ffs rock. will u ever stop riding that old git!Laugh
Report KittyWells April 29, 2013 8:29 PM BST
Those who praise cheltenham catering should recall the poor heath inspection reports at outlets there a short few years ago.  There is generally no respect for the racegoer in any of these places.  Just bleed them dry seems to be the motto
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 9:22 AM BST
Jimeen and Lustrum both state that the betting at Punchestown was useless but the figures paint a different picture.

Tuesday. 2012.  993,454
                2013.  1,136,900

Wednesday      2012.    479,516
                         2013.    1,210,400

Thursday.         2012.     656,205
                         2013.    1,441,079

I accept there are other factors but these figures are dramatic and stark.

I have been to most racecourses in England and the catering there is similar to Punchestown  although I have always thought that a racecourse should be the last place you should eat at.
Report Diamond_Joe_Quimby May 2, 2013 10:32 AM BST
I would disagree wildman. The betting above may show plenty of money around but the %s on the races were nothing but disgraceful with up to 150% on the handicaps. Last time I got food there was literally Euro 9 for sausage and chip.
British racecourses at least the grade 1 courses are miles ahead imho

The race quality was extremely poor with few Irish trainers supporting the Grade 1s in case their horse got stiffed by the handicapper. IMHO this is TOTALLY the handicappers (Both British and Irish) fault. they have shown no encouragement to those trainers who run their horses in decent races/novice/maiden hurdles on their merits yet are more than happy to hack a guess at some horse who hasnt even raised a gallop on their initial outings
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 10:40 AM BST
Couldn't agree more with your second paragraph,the Irish handicapper is lazy and handicaps by rating alone.

Your point about the percentages is equally valid but that is the SP and anyone in attendance would have no problem beating that.
Report Rocketfingers May 2, 2013 11:42 AM BST
Wildman i've been to Sandown for the tingle creek and that was pure yum, delicious stuff. Best food i've had at an Irish course is in Sligo believe it or not, elsewhere all i got was cremated food but all was expensive. I'm guessing you're a ham sandwich and a flask of tea job then you stop on the way home with your cronies for a bite to eat? Stop me when i'm getting close Cool
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 11:48 AM BST
Is your first sentence about the blow up doll?
Why would someone from Sligo go to the races to eat?
No one believes a word you say but still Ozymandius thinks you have a sharp mind.
Report workrider May 2, 2013 11:49 AM BST
Rocket i was at sandown recently , The food was good but not great tbh...Still each one to his own ..I eat a lot when i go to Punchestown mostly in dobbins ..Again i dont have a problem with the food ...
Report Rocketfingers May 2, 2013 12:00 PM BST
Wildman my primary function at the races was to bet obviously, In the UK, Fontwell when i was there was quite nice, stormed out of Wolves but managed to have something to eat and it was poor, Chepstow i'm not sure i ate as i was a student at the time, Chelters was just ok iirc. Tbf WR i had a good seat at Sandown so probably got looked after well so not a fair reflection. I'll always eat a course if i go Wildman even in Sligo, breaks up the racing and also the food is not too bad there, better than what i usually get at home !
Report jimeen May 2, 2013 12:04 PM BST
Wildmanfromborneo,i have been at every grade 1 track in England with the exception of Goodwood and there is no track in Ireland that comes even close in the catering stakes. They are an embarrassment,thats what they are. I wouldnt give it to a dog.
As for the betting you mention,the weather was terrible last year and smaller fields leads to bigger turnover. You dont think that pitches are becoming worthless because turnover is actually rising.
Report workrider May 2, 2013 12:16 PM BST
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF FONTWELL ROCKET a cracking little track imo ...I ate at EXETER last year and it was dire , I also ate at Bath WERE I WAS MISTAKEN FOR AN OWNER ...Hard to believe i know , Anyway i'd made my way to the owners and trainers unawares , A woman and her friends came and asked it i mind if they sat beside me i been the gent i am said no problem , I GOT INTO CONVERSATION with them and ordered a meal as we spoke , i was amazed when i gave my order to the waiter he asked me my name , i gave it to him and away he went , i continued my conversation and when my meal arrived the waiter asked my fellow guests if they would like to order , They decided they would , giving her name the woman sitting beside me said , LADY SO AND SO ...NAME WITHHELD IN CASE SHE READS THIS ...She had a horse running in a race worth £1,500.. RIDDEN BY R, HUGHES ...She I SHOULD ADD WAS A PART OF A SYNDICATE ...Mr Hughes proceeded to ride a stinker and the horse was beat a half length carrying a hefty wad of my cash...Oh by the way the food was SUPERB....
Report silvergreaser May 2, 2013 12:21 PM BST
Irish grade one tracks racecourse food is putrid in comparison to English grade one tracks.

Plasticine burger or rubber hotdogs that you could use as a catapult the standard fare at rip off prices, in Britain you have Chines stalls, Indian stalls many other oriental stalls, perfect fish and chips not to mention the delectable hog roast and these are only the fast food outlets.
Report Newmanix May 2, 2013 12:24 PM BST
I go racing to bet like feck and drink like a fish.  I dont care about catering standards in courses and getting a bit of muck on my shoes.  wtf is wrong with you people, its nh racing in spring in Ireland, the best horses have already ran in Fairyhouse, Cheltenham and Aintree if they were groomed for Punchestown they would have summer campaigns in mind.  Irish courses are raw, and we dont have a royal ascot or sandown or goodwood etc.  Spend a day or two around horses in any stable and you will come back smelling like one.
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 12:24 PM BST
Your dog must be fussy a poodle maybe

I accept your points about the weather and the small fields but those figures are incredible to me,I originally said the betting seemed to hold up something you took issue with but seems they did a lot more than just hold up

I too raced all over Britain and loved the racing there but don't accept they are miles better than the Irish racecourses as an aside if you ever get a chance go to Fakenham,quirky but a hidden treasure.
Report Rocketfingers May 2, 2013 12:27 PM BST
Fontwell is a lovely track, close to action so much of the time, one of my fav courses WR i've been to, i was surprised it had a nice little crowd the day i was there nothing amazing but not bad but then again it's not a million miles from a few big towns. Tbf i've not been to loads in the UK but i would go back to Fontwell quicker than Chepstow and esp Wolves.
Report dj876 May 2, 2013 12:29 PM BST
I don't get the obsession with the catering facilities-Meeting lasts 4 hours.

The quality of the racing has been diluted with the extra days(Chelt get away with it because it's the pinnacle,Galway isn't about racing)and has become less competitive recently with Mullins but it's still all about the racing for me.

It's not fair to compare any figure to last year,freak weather conditions,comparisons to 2011 would have more merit.
Report jimeen May 2, 2013 12:34 PM BST
Well newmanix,i go racing a bit too and i dont really want to be bringing my own sandwich in tinfoil to a grade 1 racecourse. Sadly i have no choice on certain days. dj876,if you travel a couple of hours to get to a meeting and are maybe there an hour beforehand,then that makes it a fairly long day,so it would be nice if you could go and get something to eat that when you are finished you wont be saying"that was some shitt". I am not talking about having my dinner in these kips either,all i want is an acceptable stop gap,a nice sandwich or sausages and chips,something like that. That isnt alot to ask in this day and age,but in Irish racing terms ,its a bridge too far.
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 12:34 PM BST
There the only figures I saw,if you have the 2011 figures put them up as it would be an interesting comparison.

Agree with you about this constant whining about catering,by its very nature being temporary it can never compete with full time eating houses and as you say is it not possible to do without food for a few hours
Report jimeen May 2, 2013 12:40 PM BST
Thats the solution wildmanfromborneo,i never thought of that one. Dont eat at all as you say and there will be nobody whining. Typical Irish attitude,anything will do Paddy. Why bother sourcing good caterers when Paddy will put up with any kind of one,sure it wont kill you,isnt that the attitude?
Report dj876 May 2, 2013 12:48 PM BST
2012              2011           % +/-
Bloodstock Sales       €22.9m              €20m             +14.5%
Sponsorship             € 2.8m       €2.06m       +36%
Prizemoney            €20.35m             €20.45m     -0.4%
On-Course Bookmakers     €39.7m             €49.5m                        -19%
Tote Betting              €24.5m             €24.8m      -1.4%
On-Course Tote Betting  €  4.8m      €6.3m      -23%
Horse in Training        7,668         8,217     -6.7%
Attendances                496,000      497,000     -0.3%

These are not just for Punchestown but for the year.It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that oncourse bookmaking is a dying game.In the next couple of years the UK tracks will embrace technological changes but we will be trotting a couple of years behind.
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 12:48 PM BST
You don't like racecourse food fair enough but you have alternatives,eat before you go eat on the way there,call into a garage and get a sandwich and bring it on to the races and finally eat on the way home.

I like going racing the food and the entrance are the least of my concerns.
Report dj876 May 2, 2013 12:52 PM BST
Apologies for the scatter nature of the graph,on course book making(6 month periods) fell nearly 20% in 2012 from 2011.

Wildman I think it would be folly to suggest that Punchestown had a sudden surge in oncourse betting(just doesn't make sense)
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 1:03 PM BST
I actually said held up as the ring was full anytime I ventured in.

I was surprised at the figures as they show a dramatic increase

I accept the general point about racecourse betting being in terminal decline,when I started racing if you wanted to see a race you went to the course plus we bet on nothing else although some punted on greyhounds now they are betting on everything.I can see all races at home now and I can even eat properly.

I still think a day at the races is a great day out and I like to look at the horses in the parade ring something that will be put to the test this Saturday.
Report dj876 May 2, 2013 1:10 PM BST
Just found the Thursday figure for on course betting was €1.55m in 2011,2013-€1.45m which suggests strong enough figure this year.

I presume John Harney is working on his own now and not as a "consultant" to Laddies(Jeez he got some twine for those offices now-€10m approx.if that figure is correct)
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 1:14 PM BST
Part of a new worrying development in the connections department.
Report dj876 May 2, 2013 1:17 PM BST
Care to elaborate Wildman for those of us that are not as well informed?
Report RoyalAcademy May 2, 2013 1:21 PM BST
as usual, i seem to come late to these discursive threads.

went to Punchestown on Friday and it started badly and hardly improved. I was directed to a car park that almost stranded me in mud and my female travelling companions had their footwear ruined before racing.

thirty euro for entry was too expensive on the basis that the so-called feature events had a 1/4 shot stroll and a three-runner Grade 1. I'm not into the "ooh aah! isn't he  lovely horse" and Mullins' dominance leaves me cold and feeling for the old guard like O'Grady & Co who can't get a look in nowadays.

It was virtually impossible to get a drink and I had to do the circuit twice before I found some prospect of counter space. One of the bars near the ring had one barman and three sides to the counter.

I think the Punchestown parade ring is horrible with all that rubber matting and the layout seems to encourage everyone to congreagate near the winners' podium and it seemed dull and soulless and devoid of atmosphere. I stood beside the winners' enclosure for Hurricane Fly's race and there wasn't a single cheer or whoop when he jumped the last safely. I found it all far too predictable and almost "British" in its reserve. The MC seemed ill-prepared and there was far too much waffle and noise all evening.

It was my first racing experience since the Thyestes and give me a "real" racing occasion any day. Punchestown's quality over five days is stretched to the limit and far too many average races throughtout the week with eye-watering money available.

foodwise, as many have said, you get proper public catering at the top tracks in the UK and the range and variety of food vans is always impressive. The only quality food available in Ireland is of the corporate/private dining variety and this is priced for the corporate jollies. when eating a snack your best hope is that you don't regret it afterwards. The food franchises at most racecourses should be given to local delis and eateries with the emphasis on quality and not profit for the track (wildman's beloved Thurles sets some standard here).

Lots of students and casual racegoers and the racing is merely a sideshow for them. Once you capture an area near the bar and dont stir for the day everything else fades to not caring quickly enough. For the first time in my life I didnt go near the betting ring once and had a few bets on my phone at 50% greater odds.

I chose Punchestown over an alternative engagement and quickly regretted my choice. I honestly don't know what to expect anymore from a so-called "big" day out racing but, for the moment, give me Lemonfield or Bennetsbridge or Dromahane over the likes of Punchestown as you can build a day out around a point without depending on facilities on course. And I'll continue to support the local supporters' clubs that offer the prospect of good company and a nice pint in pleasant enough surroundings.
Report oufies pal May 2, 2013 1:21 PM BST
Quiet a few races dropped from 2012 festival as a result of weather.Fridays card consisting of only five contests. Surely contributed to a fair part of decline.
Report wildmanfromborneo May 2, 2013 1:24 PM BST
You appear to have got my earlier thread about the cousins being taken hostage this is different as it concerns a new family member.

The man making the book for Harney is irritating in the extreme but you can learn a lot from their board as you can from another recipient of Ladbrokes largesse
Report Rocketfingers May 2, 2013 1:47 PM BST
Brilliant post by Royal.

I make that Royal Academy 7 Wildman 0
Report lustrumm May 3, 2013 11:08 PM BST
Could not have put it better than Royal Academy which is just an extension of my post from above put more eloquently than mine.

As for the betting I put my hand up and admit I am stumped. I stood up in above the stand for 3 races on Friday and watched the ring and I don't think I saw a bet placed in 3 races with some front line boomkakers. I was genuinely shocked. I don't know where the turnover is coming from but it isn't in cash from the punters anyway of that I am certain
Report paulie wallnuts May 4, 2013 11:04 AM BST
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF FONTWELL ROCKET a cracking little track imo ...I ate at EXETER last year and it was dire , I also ate at Bath WERE I WAS MISTAKEN FOR AN OWNER ...Hard to believe i know , Anyway i'd made my way to the owners and trainers unawares , A woman and her friends came and asked it i mind if they sat beside me i been the gent i am said no problem , I GOT INTO CONVERSATION with them and ordered a meal as we spoke , i was amazed when i gave my order to the waiter he asked me my name , i gave it to him and away he went , i continued my conversation and when my meal arrived the waiter asked my fellow guests if they would like to order , They decided they would , giving her name the woman sitting beside me said , LADY SO AND SO ...NAME WITHHELD IN CASE SHE READS THIS ...She had a horse running in a race worth £1,500.. RIDDEN BY R, HUGHES ...She I SHOULD ADD WAS A PART OF A SYNDICATE ...Mr Hughes proceeded to ride a stinker and the horse was beat a half length carrying a hefty wad of my cash...Oh by the way the food was SUPERB.................................that is a cracking story workrider .....i fancy the english lady still tells the story of the day she met the thick irish pikey at bath..
Report workrider May 4, 2013 1:33 PM BST
Report GANT007 May 4, 2013 4:39 PM BST
The last time rocketfingers told us he was at a race meeting in the uk he claimed hunt ball was running that day..........he later told us he made a mistake.
Report punchestown May 7, 2013 1:15 PM BST
Who,rocket or Hunt Ball? Devil
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